Lauren Lee’s new album, Windowsill, emerged from a six-week residency in the Swiss Alps, where the young jazz pianist and vocalist wrote new music inspired by the peaceful scenery. The album, which explores the concepts of daydreaming and wanderlust, features Lee both on keys and vocals, oftentimes simultaneously, as well as acolytes Brad Mulholland on woodwinds, Marcos Varela on bass, and Andy O’Neill on drums.
The record kicks off with the title track, “Windowsill”, based on a whimsical and imaginary journey taken by Lee’s cat, Smeagol. Beginning with long and abstract vocalises supported by piano and bass, the composition quickly shifts into a fun and playful melody before settling down and finding its groove. Lee’s compositional style is angular and heteroclite, the solos are a little unpolished at times, yet the music is inventive, unique, and most importantly honest.
Stream Lauren Lee’s “Windowsill” from Windowsill
Other highlights include “Peaks and Valleys”, a beautiful valse, both subdued and soothing, with Mulholland on flute, a solid Rhodes solo by Lee, and the inspired bass lines of Varela to round things out. Also noteworthy are the songs “Aback” and “She Who Journeys”, the first a dreamy and pensive affair which builds slowly into a multi-layered piano and vocal exploration full of intricacies and complexities, the second a driven, compelling and note heavy melody featuring probably the best performances of the album solo-wise.
Stream Lauren Lee’s “Aback” from Windowsill
Lauren Lee is onto something. Her style is bold and unapologetic, and displays true range and versatility. Her music is at times hard to classify, somewhat jazz, but also creative and experimental. The album’s vocal, Rhodes and flute orchestrations mesh brilliantly together. Yet, this record isn’t for everyone and some of the tracks are a little rough around the edges. However, it’s the little imperfections that make the charm of Windowsill, and Lee’s honesty and candor are to be applauded. We hope she keeps persevering on her journey and that she further blossoms in the years to come.