In his debut single, “Bread Alone,” London-based singer-songwriter Lorne invites the listener to be his confidante in an intimate moment of contemplation about the future. He negotiates a balance of risk and reward between challenging modern complacency and succumbing to its inertia. The song is appropriately sparse, as Lorne delivers a stunning vocal performance highlighted by a powerfully cinematic use of fluctuating volume throughout the song. The waxing and waning of the vocals gives the track a sense of conflict, placing the listener in a quotidian situation — the shattering of the last straw within the sonic expanse of a lushly reverberating chamber hall.
Thematically, Lorne stands at a modern crossroads where complacency is both venerated yet mundane. In this world, risk and desire are profane. The heavy religious symbolism effortlessly creates this impression, echoing the sentiments of one of Lorne’s most prominent inspirations, Peter Gabriel.
The declaration “I don’t want to waste my time” carries a double meaning as an ephemeral everyday idiom and as a contemplation of one’s own lifespan. Similarly, the lyrical reference to bread — “I can’t live on bread alone” — embodies the idea that mere sustenance does not necessarily lead to fulfillment, a concept with many modern implications.
Optimistic is not quite the right word to describe “Bread Alone”; rather, it is driven in the way that Bruce Springsteen is in “Born to Run.” Lorne is cautiously hopeful that some other time and place will be better, but knows for certain that another day of mundanity cannot be the right way forward.
However, unlike Springsteen, Lorne is not supported by a full band; rather, he plays piano while Yoed Nir plays strings. This combination results in a song that is powerfully kinetic, reinforcing the thematic urgency of the lyrics. Although Lorne’s name — a shortened version of the word forlorn — emanates despondency, “Bread Alone” is a highly encouraging debut that sets him apart as a uniquely evocative lyricist and singer.
Listen to Lorne’s “Bread Alone” on SoundCloud.
Lorne’s debut EP “Maze” will be released in May 2017.
Email Kevin Hannon at [email protected]