Lauren Sanderson is an artist from Fort Wayne. She signed with Epic Records in early 2018 and released her third EP, Don’t Panic, on Aug. 24. She has established a new sound that is unique and easy to like. Anyone could find themselves enjoying this new EP.

Unique sound

Sanderson’s edgy R&B style has developed into a totally sublime EP from the first song to the last. Even though she presents this edgy sound and energy, she is also able to bring a certain amount of vulnerability to the table with tracks like “In the Middle” and “Better Anyway.” Overall her sound is something unique that cannot be found anywhere else.

That is part of what makes this EP so good; there’s something to dance to and something to cry to, with everything in between and it is still completely original and unique. “Electric” presents a somewhat reggae sound while “In the Middle” is a little soulful and “The Only One” is a closer to R&B or Hip Hop.

The sounds of the songs are different but they are cohesive. For example, track one, “Shut Em Up” is really hype and upbeat whereas track five, “Better Anyway” is vulnerable and slower. Even though they are very different, they still feel like they belong on the same piece of work.

A message worth hearing

After being a fan since her debut EP, Center of Expression, one thing I am more than pleased with is her ability to keep the same message regardless of her circumstances. Sanderson is highly motivational and inspirational and she always strives to make a special connection to each and every listener.

Even after signing to a big label, she makes it clear that her message is of the utmost importance to her. For example in track six, “In the Middle”, she sings about fighting for creative control of her music and  her message. She also makes it apparent that she has seen people change after signing to a label but that will not be her.

She also addresses the people who have loved her and her music for a long time. She says she will never forget the people who loved her before she was famous.

At the end of this song Sanderson is quoted as saying:

“Stay true to who you are and never do it quietly. Don’t Panic.”

This is so refreshing to hear in her music. In recent years, songs have become less about substance and more about the beat behind it. While I think there is a lot of music that has little substance and is still good/fun to listen to, it is rare to hear music with both substance and a good beat.

The cover art

Image from Complex

Typically the cover art does not necessarily mean too much as far as the content. Some albums and EPs have great cover art with not-so-great content and vice versa. This time, that is not the case.

The cover art is a photo of Sanderson posing with a yellow snake. She is wearing some simple-yet-artistic blue eyeliner and the outer edges of the cover appear to be tattered and worn.

The cover contributes to the overall edgy and different vibe of the EP while also giving listeners a look into what Sanderson’s personality is like and what she is all about. The cover is definitely really well done.

High expectations were upheld

Having listened to every song that she has ever released, I definitely had really high expectations for this EP and they were still exceeded. Sanderson delivers the energy, sound, message and beats necessary for a solid work of art.

Her first EP, Center of Expression, was released in 2016. I adore this EP and still listen to it frequently, but in comparison to Don’t Panic the developments are clear. The beats better, her vocals are more developed and her confidence shines through.

I’m not the only one who thinks so, seeing as this EP ranked No. 2 on the iTunes R&B charts on the day of its release. Don’t Panic also reached no. 48 on the general iTunes top 100 chart. Fans on Twitter have made their love for this album very apparent as well.

Recommended if you like:

Rihanna

Blackbear

Jessie Reyez

Top Tracks:

“The Only One”

“Better Anyway”

“Electric”


Featured image from Billboard

Don't Panic

9.5 Amazing

This has been her most solid piece of work so far and every new release gets better. She is a solid artist with the energy and talent to make amazing music time after time. Everything she makes is good and every song on this EP is executed perfectly.

  • Overall Sound 9.5
  • Vocals 9.5
  • Instrumentals 9.5

Baylie is a Journalism major minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. She writes for The Odyssey as well as Byte. Baylie has two dogs and owns too much lipstick.

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