Lauren Sanderson is an artist from Fort Wayne. She signed with Epic Records in early 2018 and released her third EP, Don’t Panic,  on Aug. 24. She has established a new sound that is unique and easy to  like. Anyone could find themselves enjoying this new EP.

Unique sound

Sanderson’s edgy R&B style has developed into a totally sublime  EP from the first song to the last. Even though she presents this edgy  sound and energy, she is also able to bring a certain amount of  vulnerability to the table with tracks like “In the Middle” and “Better  Anyway.” Overall her sound is something unique that cannot be found  anywhere else.

That is part of what makes this EP so good; there’s something to  dance to and something to cry to, with everything in between and it is  still completely original and unique. “Electric” presents a somewhat  reggae sound while “In the Middle” is a little soulful and “The Only  One” is a closer to R&B or Hip Hop.

The sounds of the songs are different but they are cohesive. For  example, track one, “Shut Em Up” is really hype and upbeat whereas track  five, “Better Anyway” is vulnerable and slower. Even though they are  very different, they still feel like they belong on the same piece of  work.

A message worth hearing

After being a fan since her debut EP, Center of Expression, one  thing I am more than pleased with is her ability to keep the same  message regardless of her circumstances. Sanderson is highly  motivational and inspirational and she always strives to make a special  connection to each and every listener.

Even after signing to a big label, she makes it clear that her  message is of the utmost importance to her. For example in track six,  “In the Middle”, she sings about fighting for creative control of her  music and  her message. She also makes it apparent that she has seen  people change after signing to a label but that will not be her.

She also addresses the people who have loved her and her music for a  long time. She says she will never forget the people who loved her  before she was famous.

At the end of this song Sanderson is quoted as saying:

“Stay true to who you are and never do it quietly. Don’t Panic.” 

This is so refreshing to hear in her music. In recent years, songs  have become less about substance and more about the beat behind it.  While I think there is a lot of music that has little substance and is  still good/fun to listen to, it is rare to hear music with both  substance and a good beat.

The cover art

Image from Complex

Typically the cover art does not necessarily mean too much as far as  the content. Some albums and EPs have great cover art with not-so-great  content and vice versa. This time, that is not the case.

The cover art is a photo of Sanderson posing with a yellow snake. She  is wearing some simple-yet-artistic blue eyeliner and the outer edges  of the cover appear to be tattered and worn.

The cover contributes to the overall edgy and different vibe of the  EP while also giving listeners a look into what Sanderson’s personality  is like and what she is all about. The cover is definitely really well  done.

High expectations were upheld

Having listened to every song that she has ever released, I  definitely had really high expectations for this EP and they were still  exceeded. Sanderson delivers the energy, sound, message and beats  necessary for a solid work of art.

Her first EP, Center of Expression, was released in 2016. I adore this EP and still listen to it frequently, but in comparison to Don’t Panic the developments are clear. The beats better, her vocals are more developed and her confidence shines through.

I’m not the only one who thinks so, seeing as this EP ranked No. 2 on the iTunes R&B charts on the day of its release. Don’t Panic  also reached no. 48 on the general iTunes top 100 chart. Fans on  Twitter have made their love for this album very apparent as well.

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Jessie Reyez

Top Tracks:

“The Only One”

“Better Anyway”


Featured image from Billboard

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