Music

Stephanie Lambring's "Fine" Celebrates Going Against the Grain (premiere)

Photo: Betsy Phillips

Singer-songwriter Stephanie Lambring's "Fine" is an empowering Americana anthem that embraces self-drive and independence.

Stephanie Lambring's Autonomy is an as-you-see-it experience. The Americana artist's upcoming LP, due out 23 October, argues for the power of choice above all else. In the process, societal norms—as they pertain to religion, sexuality, body image, and more—are challenged. Heavy topics are looked back upon with logical precision, with a resolution of self-drive standing with aplomb at every corner. Her new single, "Fine", is a confident expression of this overarching theme of independence. Directed by Iris Dutour, its accompanying lyric video sweeps through gorgeous and varied landscapes, the empowering anthem driving proceedings forward.

For Lambring, "Fine" recalls her feelings towards marriage and romance. She recalls, "At my grandmother's funeral a few years ago, a relative said to me, 'Stephy, now we just have to get you married!' The dreaded, inevitable comment at every family gathering."

"I've never fantasized about spending forever with one person. I get anxious just saying that because it feels so counter-cultural. In college, I'd joke, 'I'm not going to get married until I'm 30—that's eight fewer years of forever!' It's always been there on some level. Until my early 30s, I always assumed I would get married. I dreaded hitting milestones with boyfriends and constantly over-analyzed my relationships. The clock was ticking, and I thought I 'should've' been thinking about taking the next step. The only pull—or push—I felt toward marriage was external pressure.

"Looking back, I think that most of my aspirations to get married revolved around some ultimate seal of approval. If someone loves you enough to marry you, you're officially deemed socially acceptable. You're enough. And you don't have to worry about those invasive questions or comments anymore.

"I think marriage can be a beautiful thing. I also think we should allow space for the super-individualistic types without the weighted whispers surrounding their singledom. And space for everyone to change their minds if they so choose. I consider myself a free spirit with an anxious mind. My mind seeks safety in the rigidity of the black and white, but my spirit craves the adventure of the gray, the nuance, the out-of-the-box. The freedom.

"This song is a conversation between my mind and my spirit. A couple of years of good therapy taught me to pay attention to the message I actually heard and then to ask myself what I needed to hear. This is what I needed to hear. Maybe someone else does, too.

"One more note—I hate any combination of the words 'waste' and 'time' and think they have caused worlds of needless anguish. Whether it's a relationship or a career path or a spiritual journey, every experience is important. Formative. There is no deadline to live out our stories."


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.

Music

The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.

Music

Tobin Sprout Goes Americana on 'Empty Horses'

During the heyday of Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout wasn't afraid to be absurd amongst all that fuzz. Sprout's new album, Empty Horses, is not the Tobin Sprout we know.

Film

'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Spotlights America's Current Voting Restrictions as Jim Crow 2.0

Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.

Music

'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"

Music

Daniel Romano's 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' Is His Ninth LP of 2020 and It's Glorious

No, this is isn't a typo. Daniel Romano's How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is his ninth full-length release of 2020, and it's a genre-busting thrill ride.

Music

The Masonic Travelers Offer Stirring Rendition of "Rock My Soul" (premiere)

The Last Shall Be First: the JCR Records Story, Volume 1 captures the sacred soul of Memphis in the 1970s and features a wide range of largely forgotten artists waiting to be rediscovered. Hear the Masonic Travelers "Rock My Soul".

Music

GLVES Creates Mesmerizing Dark Folktronica on "Heal Me"

Australian First Nations singer-songwriter GLVES creates dense, deep, and darkish electropop that mesmerizes with its blend of electronics and native sounds on "Heal Me".

Music

Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff Tells Us "When It's Sweet" It's So Sweet

Neo-soul singer Otis Junior teams with fellow Kentuckian Dr. Dundiff and his hip-hop beats for the silky, groovy "When It's Sweet".

Music

Lars and the Magic Mountain's "Invincible" Is a Shoegazey, Dreamy Delight (premiere)

Dutch space pop/psychedelic band Lars and the Magic Mountain share the dreamy and gorgeous "Invincible".

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.

Music

Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.

Music

The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".

Music

Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.

Books

Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.