Music

Canadian Folk-Rock Songstress Erika Lamon Captures the Storminess of a Guilt-Laden Love on “Yellow Sundress”

A yellow sundress conjures imagery of sunny days and lack of complication, but Kingston, ON-based folk-rock songstress Erika Lamon takes that idea and turns it on its head in her stormy piano-driven single “Yellow Sundress” – available now – from her forthcoming album Hues.

Spotify

“Yellow Sundress” begins and ends with the ticking of a clock, creating a feeling of suspense and time running out, and it maintains that metronome beat under thunderous piano and introspective vocals. The song deals with a cut-off relationship where there’s a shortage of honesty, as well as some internal conflict on the part of the narrator:

It wasn’t you, it was bad timing, 

my cowardice looking 

for a way out.

It wasn’t just a fling, 

but I flung it in your face 

on the way out

The moodiness of the piano and Lamon’s willingness to delve into complexity is reminiscent of some of the best of Tori Amos, though the inclusion of a piano track on Hues arrived as somewhat of a surprise to Lamon.

“I grew up playing the piano but I stopped practicing when I left for university,” she says. “If there’s one thing I know about playing an instrument, it’s that it’s not like riding a bicycle. Getting back into it is long and discouraging. You’ve lost the ease with which you used to play, and touching the keys can conjure a sense of loss. But sometimes, in this beginner-state, ideas flow naturally.”

And then “Yellow Sundress” began to emerge. “I sat down at the piano, and started fiddling with the keys. A main piano line appeared,” she recalls. “I had some half-finished lyrics hanging around nearby, written a couple of days prior, so I reached out for them.”

The clock element is a very deliberate part of the song. “All I could see was a guilt-laden love story unraveling as time ran out in the background, the ever-ticking clock,” Lamon says. “The clock and keys intertwining in the beginning still give me shivers. I get that ‘the movie’s about to start’ feeling.”

Folk-rock songstress Erika Lamon has been charming crowds with a sound steeped in reverie ever since her music-scene debut in 2013. In 2017, she released her self-titled debut EP to a packed house in her hometown of Kingston, ON, and spent the next two years performing and touring from Toronto to Charlottetown. In 2020, Erika released her much-anticipated single, “Omen,” which received CBC radio airplay. Hues is her first full-length record, set for release on September 9th with support from the Kingston Arts Council, FACTOR, the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. 

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. The Canada Council for the Arts contributes to the vibrancy of a creative and diverse arts and literary scene and supports its presence across Canada and around the world. The Council is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to “foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts.” The Council’s grants, services, initiatives, prizes, and payments support Canadian artists, authors, and arts groups and organizations. This support allows them to pursue artistic expression, create works of art, and promote and disseminate the arts and literature. Through its arts funding, communications, research, and promotion activities, the Council fosters ever-growing engagement of Canadians and international audiences in the arts. The Council’s Public Lending Right (PLR) program makes annual payments to creators whose works are held in Canadian public libraries. The Council’s Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts through exhibition and outreach activities. The Council is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO to contribute to a future of peace, reconciliation, equity, and sustainable development.

Website