By: Saska Kalra (@sashakalra) -
Toronto-based synth-pop artist Lyon debuted her new EP, Indian Summer (out August 20th via Black Box), at an exclusive listening party at 99 Sudbury in Toronto last night. The versatile space at 99 Sudbury Street played host to a night that felt like a coming out party for an emerging artist. Armed with a four-piece band and the dual threat of violin and piano, Lyon played all the tracks on her upcoming release.
She set the tone with a high-tempo introduction and ending. There were a couple of reflective, low-energy tracks in the middle and it ended on a high note with the title track that left listeners wanting more.
There was a sense of anticipation building on the 99 Sudbury patio as patrons filed in to the space in the hour leading up to Lyon’s performance. The nature of this night cultivated this expectation. It was an exclusive event and it hadn’t been advertised or promoted. The setting couldn’t have been more apt, as the warehouse-style room featured a brick wall and purple lighting with high ceilings. It was a combination of styles and influences, much like Lyon’s new musical project.
The EP sounded like the end of a very long road. You can hear some of her earlier influences and there is a significant spotlight on violin melodies throughout. The music, if it had to be labelled, was primarily electronic-based indie pop. That was merely on the surface though and the subtleties of the lyrics added so much more.
A standout track was in the middle of her set as she performed “Lullaby”. It personified the feelings she felt when writing the song and it served as the peak of her emotionally raw performance.
Lauren was incredibly relaxed during her performance. The audience could have cheered loudly or booing incessantly; it wouldn’t have mattered. The audience was pretty much silent, enamoured by the sounds coming from the corner of the room. Nobody made a sound and everyone was tuned in. She exuded confidence by being in control of the proceedings. Every action or movement she made during or between a song felt organic. There were no pre-planned routines or gimmicks. This night was about the music and the woman behind it.
The woman behind the Lyon moniker, Lauren Malyon isn’t from these parts. She grew up in Port Perry and formed Lyon with Japeth Maw last summer. She’s been playing music since the age of three and drew influences from living in Toronto while working on her Indian Summer EP. Her snapshot in time video, “The City”, speaks about this adjustment and how when she first experienced Toronto it wasn’t what she expected.
The city eventually endeared itself to Lauren and she grew to love the small communities and pockets that make it unique.
These experiences permeated her music. The layering, attention to detail and sense of journey all became apparent.
Listeners are in luck. This journey is just beginning.