Over the past two years, Lara Americo has went from a subject of CL's Pride Guide 2015 cover story to an incredible contributor who has covered everything from live music to the Charlotte Uprising to the transgender community for Creative Loafing. In the meantime, Americo has been putting together She/They, her new EP that touches on identity issues and the anxiety they bring about.
Her music is full of transitions, as even the titles on tracklist move from liquid to gas to solid.
The lead-off track, "Life as a Liquid," serves as a dark vessel for Americo to express her lyrics in a spoken word format. The songs that follow continuously shift moods. As she goes from "The Infinite Lifespan of Antimatter" into "Life as a Gas" and then "Life as a Solid," the songs become progressively more cheerful. The playful strings of the guitar and the "bah-bah-bahs" throughout the chorus of "Life as a Solid" make for easy listening with only soft percussion in the background, and act as a sort of anti-depressant that takes the listener far from the dark tones of the lead track.
You'll be back, however.
The next track, "Dark Matter Everywhere," chrushes the playful mood of the previous songs and brings the listener back into a world of spoken-word anxiety. Rather than the metaphors expressed on the lead track, Americo takes her issues issues head-on.
In the final track, "Possibly Plasma," the rollercoaster ride continues, as a melodic, repetitive bass line carries Americo across a song that continues to tackle issues regarding identity.
In the end, Americo tells the story of a girl going through an epiphany, breaking out of her shell to realize that "everything she ever needed was there the entire time." The process of going through the album is a dramatic one, as Americo surely wanted it to be, but hearing the last verse in "Possibly Plasma," one can't help but think that every crest and trough throughout the EP is neccesary to get to that point.