Seventeen is a powerful age. It was the age at which Lorde released her first EP, as well as the age at which Billie Eilish released her genre-bending debut album last year. So it only stands to reason that the next big thing will come in a young package. Enter ren, the singer-songwriter with a voice laced with sweetness, and a guitar armed with angst. A seventeen-year-old with only a handful singles under her belt, she’s already caught the eye Geffen Records, signing onto their label in November. And with the release her live basement session for her latest single “idc”, it’s easy to see why.
Blending that classic teenage angst epitomized by Nirvana with the slick pop vocals today, ren stakes her claim amongst the next generation provocative artists. While her first two releases stuck along the alt-pop route, “idc” ambitiously weaves in guitar riffs fitted for a 90’s grunge show. And after the whirlwind her record label signing, it would seem that the Toronto native sought out to remind fans who she was, embedded within the memories her jamming sessions in the basement. The carefully mastered single did well to smoothly slide her vocals on top the heavy production, whereas in this live session, the instrumentals are rampant with desire. As the boisterous drums kick in behind her fevered “I|don’t really care anymore” chorus, a spectrum emotions comes alive. The harmonious composition raw vocals and unpretentious guitar melodies serve to remind us all that pop doesn’t just come in bubblegum flavour. When it’s aged just right, it can taste just like progress.