The beautiful Santa Monica Place kicked off their Summer Scene series on August 9th in the open-air courtyard of the mall, with three bands playing during the afternoon.
The very young Lena Fayre opened the show just accompanied by a guitarist/keyboardist, and no one should have been fooled by her fragile Nathalie Portman/Winnona Ryder appearance. The 18-year old had quite a powerful voice, flexible and capable to reach high notes as well as the deep sad ones. Her intonations and her young age were reminding me Lorde at times, minus the weird grand stage-gestures, and this was reinforced by the fact that Lena had fully embraced darkness, wearing a cute black outfit and black fingernails to go with it, playing a synth filled with angst and lugubriousness. She played and sang with a real conviction, her thin silhouette and grave pretty face seemingly tortured by the drama enfolding during her songs.
Last February, Rolling Stone magazine featured her among the 10 new artists you need to know and three of her music videos on Youtube have been viewed millions of times. The young singer-songwriter is about to release her debut album, ‘OKO’ on August 5th, and her first single ‘I am not a man’ was written in close collaboration with Liz Phair and producer/composer John Alagia, and-winning producer/composer Nolan Sipe.
Curiously, when I watched one of her videos, Lena looked like another one of these sexy young pop stars singing trite songs with swagger for the the teen masses and currently filling up YouTube. However, live, she was closer to the artsy sad side of a goth Lana del Rey meets Fiona Apple than to your next Britney Spears.