I try not to speak for everyone, but I’m going to go out on a limb and do it regardless. Lauren Juzang amazes us all and her proven creative brilliance from one release to the next is evidence of that. While I’ve already expressed the sentiment that the indie space isn’t necessarily my cup of tea in a previous article on Juzang, we can erase those invincible boundaries again today and take a few minutes to thoroughly enjoy the incredible body of work that Lauren just released to the world last week.
Entitled, “PEEK-A-BOO!”, the 5-song EP is not only Juzang’s first project since 2021, but it’s decisively her most impressive release to date. As I sit here listening to the project over and over again, I can’t help but have a deep appreciation for her one of a kind delivery and storytelling prowess – she carries a maturity and vulnerability within her stories that would make you think she’s twice her age. And while we’ve seen both of these traits shine through in her previous two single releases – “It’ll Be (Video Game Song)” and “Yeehoo!” – being able to impress in these areas on a full-blown body of work is a whole different level of an accomplishment.
While the whole project is flawless, the intro track, “Still”, speaks to me in a way that few records have in recent memory as Juzang dives deep into heartbreak – a common theme across the project that also touches on mental health and intertwines a multitude of topics that anyone could relate to. Although “Still” might be my personal favorite, that’s not to overlook the significance of “Losing Your Head” and the project’s focus track, “Goodnight, Friend”, which explore similar themes, sonic ranges, and moods to the latter. An honest and cohesive body of work, “PEEK-A-BOO!”, is easily one of my favorite projects of 2023 and establishes Juzang (in my mind) as one of the most promising up-and-comers making strides at the moment. Executive produced by her longtime collaborator and friend, Jason Vance Harris, “PEEK-A-BOO!”, is Lauren Juzang and her closest collaborators at their most honest, experimental, and best, and for that we say thank you!