After experiencing her first full length album, it’s obvious that Lena Fayre listens to a lot of modern radio and experiences a lot of sadness. Put these two influences together and you have the main ingredients for the album “OKO.” Starting off with a blatantly poppy, radio friendly electro sound, Lena then moves into more minimalist, cavernous soundscapes paired with her intelligently and purposefully placed vocal melodies. With a tasty and subtle use of synthesizers creating the sonic backdrops, the simple, space-filled drum parts create the perfect arena for the sounds to mingle.
Lena definitely shows off the vast dynamics of her vocal abilities, weaving through different styles throughout her tracks and even within a song. You will hear Lena’s vocal journey travel seamlessly through strong operatic projections, soft and sultry lounge stylings, haunting and piercing whispers, and even some jazzy freestyle inflections. She has fun with various self-induced vocal accents from track to track as well. Usually laying down a single vocal track on each song, there are instances where Lena gets some harmonization help from vocalist Sanders Bohlke. On top of this amazing display of vocal abilities, Lena also drops a little tasty rap verse on one of her tracks.
Throughout the “OKO,” album, you will hear both electronic and live drum tracks, synthesizers, horns, guitar, piano and strings. While Lena definitely plays along with the modern take on electro-instrumentation, she appreciates the raw power of acoustic guitar and stripped down vocals, made evident with the first song on side B titled “i remember.” She also knows how to let the producer take the reigns and give in to studio wizardry, as is clear when listening to the last song on the album, “intimacy is me.” This track follows no genre blueprint, is not afraid to break up the subject matter, smash the mirror and create new perspectives on melody and song structure, to create a unique enriching experience made possible only through the marriage of raw vocal power and an extensive knowledge of electronically organized composition.
Even though it might seem like an “easy listening” experience, you can tell from the voice and words expressed that not all subject matter is happy go lucky. Instead, it is quite deep, and heavy, sometimes dark, and can only come from living through enriching and trying life experiences as well as having a deep and mature understanding of those experiences. And this girl is 18 years old.