Striking out on her own after membership in various area bands, Richmond, Virginia singer/songwriter Sammi Lanzetta has recorded For Avery, a brief but promising EP of pointed indie rock. It features a strong vocal performance from Lanzetta, and hopefully marks a step towards something more substantial and fully-realized in the future.
Lanzetta works in a punk/post-surf vein on these four tracks, the instrumentation functioning mostly as a vehicle for her lyrics and personality, which are the real draw here. Whether it's satisfying takedowns of arrogant male entitlement ("Circles") or honest self-assessment ("Anxiety Olympics"), Lanzetta delivers it with a wry and amusing bluntness, often packing multiple words into a single beat in order to finish a thought. This breathlessness leads to some awkward and stilted phrasing on occasion, but it's mostly endearing.
The title track is the core offering here however, a bittersweet letter to a friend's newborn niece describing what she can expect to experience growing up as a woman; it's a plaintive and authentic moment. It's also the most interesting track dynamically, slowing things down and exploring textures outside the usual indie-punk palette, gesturing towards a richer template not unlike Jenny Lewis's The Voyager. It's hard to say whether Lanzetta will stand out from her legions of indie peers, but For Avery is a promising enough start. (6131)