Toronto-based singer-songwriter renforshort just made her full length debut for Interscope records with the release of her brand new album dear amelia out now on all streaming platforms. renforshort is the next alt-pop icon, with music that fits in with the likes of Mitski and Holly Humberstone. We recently heard from renforshort about her experiences as a young woman in the music industry and how they have brought her to the release of dear amelia.
Lauren Isenberg, known in the music industry as renforshort, is an old soul. The incredibly well-spoken artist does not let her youth stop her from making a mark on the entertainment business. Lauren has always advocated for the opinions of young people and the potential that they have for making an impact on society. Traditional values have caused many to believe that young women like Lauren should be looked over in the industry, but the movements initiated by renforshort prove otherwise.
renforshort recently wrapped her tour with The Band Camino. On this tour, she made a point to bring a majority of females into her team on the road. When we spoke to renforshort, she talked about how this decision impacted her experience. “My last tour was all men, and I love them so much, but having these women on tour with me is what I needed. It's so empowering, because we would go to these venues and the staff would be like ‘Oh, are your husbands performing tonight?’ and we'd be like ‘No, we’re doing the thing.’ While that can be hurtful, it inspired us to want to show them. I think having those women there made it a very comfortable environment for me. It's like having a friend on the road.” renforshort also just announced her first ever headlining tour, scheduled to kick off in mid September of this year.
renforshort has been involved in the music industry since a young age. At just 16 years old, she made her debut with the single "Waves" in February of 2019. As a female creative immersed in the entertainment business for many years, renforshort has developed a wise perspective on the inequalities for young women in music. “I think a lot of people feel intimidated by powerful women, and as much as I would love people to be intimidated so that they listen to me more, I want them to just look at me like I’m a person and be receptive. There are a lot of things that I would like to see change, and I am very passionate about that.”
In March of 2020, renforshort released her first EP Teenage Angst. Since then, renforshort has displayed substantial growth both personally and creatively. The last few years brought unprecedented change for everyone, but Lauren was able to come out on the other side with a newfound maturity, using her novel experiences as inspiration for her art. “I was so young before. I had high school experiences, and the older I got, the more experiences I gained. I think that really played into the narrative of my music. Since then, I moved out of home for the first time and had crazy shit happen. I don't think I would’ve been where I am now without those experiences because they helped me grow substantially. Just getting out into the world and having these experiences is super important as an artist, and that is what’s going to help you grow the most. It's the same for musicians as it is for a painter. You have to find your muse.”
Growing up in Toronto, Lauren’s surroundings have heavily influenced her art. “Not only have my core memories been created there, which give me a lot of inspiration, but there's also so many people from different backgrounds. Being able to sit with those people and talk with them is super inspiring.” renforshort’s alt-pop sound is a captivating combination of old school indie rock melodies and alternative electro beats. Her unique voice can be attributed to her eclectic musical taste. Lauren is inspired by a broad range of artists from Amy Whinehouse to Elliot Smith. When asked about her favorite debut albums of all time, Lauren listed both Jake Bugg’s self-titled and Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago.
dear amelia is a 12 track collection of intimate thoughts and vulnerable experiences. The songs tell a cohesive story, narrating what Lauren has gone through over the past few years and revealing lessons that she learned in her journey to independence. When asked about who the symbol of Amelia is, Lauren responded, “Although Amelia is a character, she is also me. She is basically the personification of this part of my brain that I put so much stress on.”
On dear amelia, her one of a kind production style is complemented by introspective lyricism entwined with luring melodies which express her dynamic scale of emotions with the utmost eloquence. Her new album features music more vulnerable than ever heard before. Lauren approaches the topics closest to her without filter, offering an honest account narrating her experience with growing into herself. “With every record, I find that I get more vulnerable. I think these are the most emotional songs I've ever written in my career.”
dear amelia finds Ren joining forces with longtime collaborator Jeff Hazin as well as producers/co-writers like David Pramik, Alexander 23, Andy Seltzer, John Ryan, Tia Scola, and Nick Long. The LP also features guest spots from Travis Barker and Jake Bugg. “I like to at least have some sort of relationship with the people I pick to work with, because it's easier to work with friends. I've known Alexander for a while, so that made it much easier to work with him. The main criteria is if I get along with or feel like I can open up to a person, and that helps me pick out who I want to work with.”
When she announced the album, Lauren launched the “Letters to Amelia” campaign, which allowed for her listeners to receive a feeling of release similar to what dear amelia provided for the singer. The campaign gave fans of renforshort a chance to write a letter, talking about anything that they want. This letter is then mailed to an address provided by renforshort’s team to be discarded upon its arrival. Lauren has always been passionate about providing an outlet for her supporters to get things off their chest and feel seen, and this project is a perfect opportunity for people to express themselves freely. “Every song was basically addressed to Amelia, like a letter.”
The album opens with the devastating track “I Miss Myself,” which is a reflective piece of work that explores Lauren's complicated psyche, opening up about the anxiety and dissociation that she had to learn how to process. The song introduces the introspective themes presented to the listener throughout the album, setting the tone for the vulnerable collection of music. “I wrote [‘I Miss Myself’] for the purpose of it being the opener. It took a while to finish that song because I needed everything to align and make sense.”
dear amelia features 5 of Lauren's recent releases. “made for you” is a deceptively sweet bop driven by bright handclaps and effervescent melodies which examines the more corrosive aspects of relationships. “It’s about changing your entire personality to fit another person’s standards, which is something a lot of women have to struggle with in a society where we’re expected to look and act a particular way.” The single “moshpit” pushes Lauren’s afresh grunge-fueled sound to the forefront as the lyrics brilliantly twist its title phrase into a metaphor for the chaos of a destructive romance. The indie-pop banger “we’ll make this okay” featuring the charged drumming of Travis Barker slips into a robotic rhythm that perfectly echoes the numbing effect of toxic cycles of behavior. Most recently, she put out “Julian, king of Manhattan,” which serves as an ode to Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and celebrates the music that inspired renforshort to become the artist she is today.
Stand-out track “don't come back” has Lauren charging through with a heightened level of angst, serving as an alternative breakup anthem with its empowering themes. Her audience of young-adults will all be able to relate to the feelings of restlessness and anger that the song encapsulates in its impassioned melody. “Tia Scola was one of the co-writers on that song, and we decided to write a boss-bitch anthem,” says ren. “It’s about saying, ‘Fuck you, I don’t need you in my life anymore,’ and really standing up for that.”
The album closes with the gripping epic “Amelia,” where renforshort reflects upon losing a part of herself. The bittersweet ballad is a vulnerable love letter to the person that she used to be, beautifully tying together the themes that she displayed throughout the project.
renforshort is making a name for herself in the music industry with bold musicality and a message that demands to be heard. For Lauren, that deep-rooted connection with her audience is the primary touchstone for all of her work, and dear amelia stands out for its ability to touch the hearts of each and every person who listens. “I would like to help as many people through my music as possible and also help myself in a way through the catharsis of getting things off of my chest.” renforshort is not a name that you are going to want to forget, as this artist’s imaginative artistry and undoubtable talent is sure to take her all the way to the top.
Listen to dear amelia out now on all streaming platforms:
Buy tickets to her North America headlining tour on the dates listed below.
Sept. 15 Toronto, ON Long Boat Hall
Sept. 17 Detroit, MI The Loving Touch
Sept. 18 Chicago, IL Riot Fest
Sept. 20 Pittsburgh, PA Thunderbird
Sept. 22 Nashville, TN The End
Sept. 23 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade (Purgatory)
Sept. 25 Dover, DE Firefly Festival
Sept. 27 Washington, DC Songbyrd Music House
Sept. 28 New York, NY Baby’s All Right
Oct. 1 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
Oct. 2 Montreal, QC Pop Montreal at Le Ministere
Oct. 5 Los Angeles, CA Moroccan Lounge
Tickets for the dear amelia tour are on sale now at the following link: https://www.renforshort.com/tour