Written By Chloé Sautereau
“I miss myself. I miss myself. I miss myself.” Don’t you?
There’s something chillingly soul-gripping in the way renforshort, aka Lauren Isenberg, lets us float and ponder in between the chorus lines of her most recent single “i miss myself.” The single is the intro track to her debut album dear amelia which was released July 8th.
“i miss myself” is a true letter to the self or rather to “somebody out there,” as the 20 year old singer-songwriter explains to her fans on social media. She recently created a p.o. box for her listeners to write to “amelia” as well – along with a template for cathartic letter crafting – allowing her audience to get anything off their chest, judgment free, the way she’s always done through music.
Releasing her first single “Waves” in 2019, renforshort, whose original moniker was Ren, has also released two EPs. Her latest EP, off saint dominique, has amounted over 15 million streams since June 2021.
For her latest and upcoming releases, the Toronto native returns to work closely with writers and producers such as Jeff Hazin, Jesse Fink, and PomPom, further painting her world and rising as one of today’s promising alternative pop-rock acts. Claiming “i miss myself” to be her most vulnerable piece of music yet, the song is a look back at who she’s been, missing it, and figuring out who she’s becoming.
“I’ve gone through way too many different versions of me,” renforshort sings as the opening line to the track. Her grounded, breathy tone floats, delicate as ever, leaving behind a little bit of her distinct teenage angst present in her previous releases. But, a simple acoustic strum still threads the track together, as it usually does – thick, familiar, comforting – rhythmic but only discreetly so. Paired with periodic electric guitar riffs that emphasize longing and nostalgia, the song’s instrumentation has everything to support the artist’s pure and contemplative voice.
She takes off in a classic pre-chorus melodic climb, but only to leave us there, holding on to that one chorus line for a moment: “I miss myself.” There’s initial frustration in the simplicity of the first chorus, in the redundancy of that one line. But, that’s where its strength lies, because of how much is implied. The hint of helplessness in the repetition is addressed and admitted to when the second chorus comes around and “I miss myself” is followed by “Wish you could help.” The unravelment of feelings renforshort takes us through is powerful. It’s lonely, but in its honesty it becomes awfully inspiring.
Following an arc that is true to her sound, the track blooms into a full, almost rock, arrangement as renforshort’s train of thought reminisces… “I used to love, I used to care for me so much.” Unbottling what’s been bottled up, there’s a sense of inner release, as the voluminous drums resonate, carrying her straightforward yet poignant narrative. She keeps giving instrumentally and lyrically, both of which move together as she verbalizes that crescendo:
“So every year it escalates / It all becomes a world I hate /
I lost myself to be like you / And now I fuckin’ miss me, damn.”
In the midst of the noise, the push and pull of our daily lives, renforshort’s search for the most honest version of herself is a heartfelt reminder that it’s okay to lose your way, it’s okay to change, while stressing the importance of remaining true to who we are and who we want to be.
Renforshort’s “i miss myself” was followed by the release of “Julian, king of manhattan” on July 1st, in anticipation of her debut album dear amelia, out now.