Lauren Strange's "The Solution"

There is limited access to people, places and things when sheltering at home. Artists invite team-members into their bubbles through video chats and the Hangout app’s online games of Uno. The artistic intuition adapts, strangely.

Lauren Strange is all too familiar; being Strange thrives.

Before and during the pandemic, fans stand-by for news from the Nashville-based alt-rocker via her larger digital platform stages including Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

With the marketable, government surname, Strange embroiders beanies and other merchandise to sell at Items become an indie scene kid’s future Instagram post featuring their #OOTD, outfit of the day. However, it is a celebration for the relatability of her sound, to be discussed further.

Hootsuit market research shows 85 percent of Generation Z learn about new products on social media. They are also 59 percent more likely than older generations to connect with brands on social too. Before making a purchase, Gen Zers are two times more likely than Millenials to turn to YouTube.

 Years ago, before Apple Music and Spotify, music consumers and the artist relied heavily on the tangible: records, cassettes, CDs. Now alternatives are available such as Snap Chat, and of course, as technology evolved, so did social media adding Tik Tok,  and Twitch to smartphones.

It is smarter and more financially and emotionally supportive to buy the physical items, especially in a pandemic. Though the catch-22, the very thing—social media— killing the music industry are now the surrogate for live music.

The week of Strange’s debut album, “The Solution,” the Nashville-based alternative rocker and band performed a socially distanced set. Fans at home tapped their streams to see the live broadcast of the record—produced, recorded and mixed by Tony Smith (SLEEPER/AGENT) and mastered by Nick Brown (MONA).

No sugarcoating, Strange’s latest work is an honest look with her own dealings with mental health packed into heavy metal pop sound. The power vocalist with grunge influences calls out uncomfortable topics such as depression in relatable lyrics and heavy rhythms.

Topical and relatable to the nth degree, young adults from 18-24 are experiencing higher rates of major depressive symptoms (sleep disruption, anxiety, etc) and the study previously released in May, followed up in November with a 27 percent compared in the past, according to the report led by Massachusetts General Hospital, and authored by experts including those at Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, and Northeastern University.

Considering gender, women were more likely to experience symptoms, according to the report. Major life changes such as university closings, working from home and pay cuts contribute.

We first hear her thoughts in the title track, “The Solution.” “The Solution,” refers to the universal desire for a quick fix to feel normal— if there is a “normal,” The track begins by asking, “What’s it like to wake up and not wanna die?” and ends begging the question, “Can you offer a solution?”

Throughout, Strange, similar to her Instagram grid is a bright punch of guitar-heavy rock n’ roll. She continues to speak in a relatable voice in her track, “Easy”: “I wish I was cool; I wish I was smart. I wish I didn’t have the tendency to break my own f****** heart.” Strange proceeds with brutal honesty in the bridge of the song, mocking traditional “solutions” that never seem to work. “They throw around diagnoses like they are confetti – there’s pills you could take, there’s sleep you’re not getting – have you tried going outside or drinking less coffee?”

Strange was recently featured in Premier Guitar Magazine and has also released two music videos for her singles “The Solution” and “Xanax and Coffee.”

All the elements of the x-factor: catchy, thoughtful, engaging lyrics for an intricate record, this artist is worthy of one for the Cardboard viral meme: your music saved my life. Rock isn’t dead and with this artist adding more into the industry, we’re anticipating more of this Strange package.

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