Having worn many hats as an actor, filmmaker, content writer and finally becoming a singer-songwriter, Lavanya Ayren has finally released her debut EP titled ‘Her: A Story’. This album is a personal story of her relationship journey, and the emotional encounters that came with it. From making the best possible arrangement to choosing the right samples, collecting references, working on vocals, upgrading the gear and keeping up to date with new softwares and plugins, along with multiple rounds of drafts and mixes and hundreds of notes, producer Aditya Mhatre and Lavanya Ayren spent months on every song, to get each one just right. This album took a total of four years to write, produce and finally reach streaming platforms.
Each track is composed like a storytelling session, with largely moody and sombre undertones. The lyrics have a poetic quality to them, and are quite profound. Lavanya’s vocals are deep and mesmerising, with a wide scale range. Bringing together, traditional indie-pop, synthwave and cinematic music, the tracks in the albums can also remind one of film OSTs. For me, this EP was quite inspirational and a bold attempt to narrate one’s personal struggles, and can be a source of motivation during difficult times.
Lavanya’s first song ‘Her’ was written in Dec 2017, after a special someone entered her life and she dedicated a poem to them. It describes the feeling of being totally smitten by someone in your life, at the beginning of a new relationship. There’s love, there’s admiration, and there’s also a bit of obsession. The track is slow-paced, with subtle ambient music in the background, and vocal layering. It is a mellow track, and provides a nice start to the EP.
“I also wrote the second song ‘You Need to Go’ by picking up my friend’s ukulele and just playing chords to express my feelings.” says Lavanya. This track has slightly melancholic undertones, as it is about the feelings of self-deprecation and blame that one experiences in a difficult relationship. This track hits the bittersweet spot as it brings out the complexities of love.
‘City Lights’, the third track is about a discovering oneself again, and realising that staying in a relationship which is emotionally and mentally draining is not worth it. This track has a relatively faster tempo as compared to the others, based on an energetic synthwave tune. “There was this bridge in my hometown, where I’d go and stare at the distant city lights for hours, and would imagine how my life would be when I finally move to the city of dreams.” The artist reminds herself that she needs to focus on her goals and chase her dreams.
‘Enough is Enough’, is the fourth track, when the artist is finally done with the relationship, and she lets go of her toxic past. “It’s special to me because it marked that point in my life where I finally stood up for myself and said ‘no more”, says Lavanya. Lavanya’s deep vocals, slow tempo and lyrical prowess makes this an enchanting listen. The bridge section has a charming vocal recitation by Lavanya, where she realises that cupid was blind after all.
‘But I Survive’ is a song of strength and resilience, despite all the hardships one faces in life. Lavanya’s vocal harmonies are the highlight of this track, as she sings beautifully on different scales. Accompanied by this, is the soothing orchestral background music throughout the track that makes it even more heart-warming.
As a newcomer in the indie music industry, Lavanya also recognises the importance of the business side of things. “It’s that music is not just, you know, all about making good music anymore. It’s also about how good of a business person you are. This is something that I have recently learned and experienced. Being an indie artist makes things much more difficult because we don’t have the ways to do it without the professional help and reach of the labels. Be it the content creation, the right networking or the marketing.”
Aptly said, indie music scene nowadays is as much about marketing and business as much as it is about music in itself. Lavanya’s debut EP ‘Her : A Story’ is definitely a force to reckon with, and is also a beautifully crafted piece of art, with deep lyrical significance and vocal finesse. She definitely has a bright future ahead in the indie music industry. “I have planned out (and even almost finished writing) my next 3 EPs. There’s plenty of good music coming.”