renforshort Announces New Album, dear amelia
After two successful EPs, the artist is back with another project exploring the darkest parts of her psyche.
Lauren Isenberg better known as renforshort, is already a successful musician. She’s been signed to Interscope Records, and amassed over 1.1 Million monthly Spotify listeners. As she continues making angsty yet relatable alt-pop music, she’s also learning how to advocate for herself all while calling the shots when it comes to her career. It’s not easy navigating life as a woman, let alone navigating the music industry, especially at the young age of 16. But Renforshort has managed to flawlessly to do both, all without breaking a sweat, after she found success as a musician in the middle of quarantine. Proving to be a mainstay in the crop of emerging artist, the Toronto-native is currently in the US opening on tour for Tai Verdes. Aside from that, she’s just announced her debut album “dear amelia” will be out July 8. On her current tour, she’s happily showing crowds why she is praised for her music, which combines the storytelling structure of folk with the intensity of her grunge icons. Her debut EP “teenage angst” —which detailed lost love over crashing guitars and catchy hooks—was followed by her sophomore EP “off saint dominique” in 2021, an EP that displayed more polished, intricate production while retaining gripping lyricism. With each project, renforshort learns more about making music and building the confidence to own the good and bad of her newfound success. Below, V catches up with Isenberg and talk about her sophomore EP, tour, and life in the music industry.
V Magazine: How are you feeling about tour? Are you excited?
Lauren Isenberg: I’m very excited. We’ve played two shows now, and they were amazing. I’ve never really played a proper show in the States. I did a festival, but I’ve never been on tour in the States, you know? So it’s been really fun. The crowds have been amazing, and it’s cool to see people after so long.
V: What do you think you’ve learned from making and releasing your debut EP? And then how did you apply that to your sophomore EP?
LI: With the debut EP, I wrote most of that when I was 15 to 16. It was more for fun. Then with the sophomore EP, I feel like I just wanted to make it a little bit more mature, because the first one did feel pretty young to me. I mean, I’ve learned a lot from both of them. I think the first one was so authentic and true to myself. I think that’s definitely something that I’ve started applying again. Just making it super fun.
V: When you’re mapping out a song do you put a lot of thought into the balance between the alt-pop electronic sound and the grunge aspects? Or is it more organic?
LI: When I make music, whatever happens, happens. I tend to start with guitars and then work around that, but it really just comes together how it comes together. I’m not going “Oh, I want this song to be super grungy, or, “I want this one to be super poppy.” Just whatever like production makes it sound the best. Because at the end of the day, I just want to make a sick song.
V: What specific songs from any genre influenced your second EP the most? What were you listening to?
LI: Yes, definitely. The Strokes. Big, big inspiration for the album, melodically and production-wise. The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Joy Division. And then obviously, with the writing, my influence has always been the same: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jake Bugg, Bon Iver. Yeah, it’s definitely kind of an ode to The Strokes, probably the main influence.
V: You’ve discussed some of the stigma that you felt as a woman in the music industry. Can you elaborate on that? How do you cope with that?
LI: Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely really tough to deal with. Like, as a woman in general, and as a woman who started in the music industry at the age of 16. It’s a little difficult to be taken seriously. I find that really frustrating at times. I also have felt so uncomfortable in so many situations. To the point where I don’t really go out anymore, because I’m not comfortable. You know, I always try to have another woman in the session, or with me at all times, because a lot of people have abused their power, especially to younger, upcoming artists. I think that’s something that really, really needs to change somehow. People need to be like, f—ing called out for their s—t. It just pisses me off and like, sometimes I just cry. I call my mom and cry and feel like no one actually takes me seriously or people are just taking advantage of me. To cope with that, I act like a hermit sometimes, which is not a good coping mechanism. But I always try and realize that I’m a boss b—! I mean, sometimes I’ll be like, “Oh, I am a boss, and I’m gonna be treated like one.”
V: Yeah, thank you for sharing. My last question is what has been your favorite moment of being a musician so far?
LI: It’s live shows and it’s meeting fans. That’s something I was deprived of for my entire career because I basically started when quarantine happened. So I made all these friends online. To talk to all my fans and finally get to meet them in person and just live that moment where you see real people singing your songs for the first time is unbeatable. Every time, it never gets old. It reminds me why this is the only thing I can ever do, you know? It’s just the best thing in the world.