Insecurities in Being is an album of musical evolution and emotional transitions in equal measure.
Music, like life, is full of ebbs and flows, always in a state of transition, evolving into new, mysterious forms. On its most recent musical incarnation, Toronto’s L CON (aka Lisa Conway) transmogrifies inner struggles into a robust set of avant-pop songs.
In some ways, Insecurities in Being is a somewhat skeletal album: guitars make their presence known through short, subtle bursts; programmed drums dance with synthesizer lines in a strange sort of tango. The brief, brilliant guitar solo in “Try” highlights the album’s stellar musical interplay. What initially took shape from a Voice Memo is fleshed out into a head-bobbing semi-jazzy jam that reflects on self-doubt and a lack of healthy artistic contribution.
What’s most impressive about Insecurities in Being though, is the orchestral swoon Karen Ng’s saxophones and clarinets bring to the arrangements. They act as a crescendo that ebbs to a brief flutter on “There Was A Glow” (resembling brief moments of connection people crave in day-to-day life); low, subtle hints of tension flow from the woodwinds on “Cogs Awry”.
From the reverb-laden production on Conway’s voice (with nods to Beth Gibbons of Portishead and faint hints of Mazzy Star) to the use of loops and sequencing (“Some Sort of Sign” and “The Spells”), Insecurities in Being is haunting in many ways. Its foreboding feelings serve to underscore the lyrics and ideas at work, many of which centre around feelings of isolation, depression and perseverance. Case in point, “The Art of Staying Tough (feat. Casey MQ)”. MQ’s outstanding vocals and stark, pronounced piano is an incredibly striking, naked contrast to L CON’s overt electronic tones. The mental and emotional resilience his performance projects is palpable and makes for a captivating performance.
Insecurities in Being is a transformative statement that finds L CON channelling her apprehension into an earnest, honest and raw artistic statement. It’s the sound of an artist re-evaluating and adjusting their path in the moment. Its an album of musical evolution and emotional transitions in equal measure.