Local Listen — Allison Lorenzen Delves the Depths of Change

Allison Lorenzen’s music and life have undergone a number of changes since 303 Magazine last spoke with her in 2021. For one, she moved to Southern Colorado to help run a hot spring called Desert Reef. For recreation, she started taking Nyckelharpa lessons, the official folk instrument of Sweden, “which sounds like a haunted ocean and feels like a soul contract.” As far as her music career goes, Lorenzen’s most recent updates are two-fold. First, her goal is to finish recording her sophomore album by the year’s end. Second, today marks the release of her latest single, a cover of “Words” by Minnesotan 90s indie band Low that comes with an accompanying music video.

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While the music-centric changes might seem of the utmost relevance for 303’s readers, it turns out that each of Lorenzen’s recent updates to her life, lifestyle and music career are intertwined and entirely related. “I’ve spent the last year working on music and growing the hot spring and combining the two passions by programming concerts ranging from Midwife to Devotchka,” said Lorenzen of her move southward. She’s actively working towards getting the word out about Desert Reef as a venue, which she’s described as “a special listening experience” where “the guests can soak in the warm mineral waters while enjoying the music.”

As she hustles to wrap up her second solo album in the next ten days, Lorenzen celebrates today’s release of “Words” as part of a cover compilation album of songs by the band Low, which is slated to be released in full next year by San Francisco label The Flenser. “It was an honor to be invited to contribute, as I admire The Flenser and they have an extremely high caliber of artists and releases on the label,” Lorenzen said of the experience. Working with her favorite Denver engineer, Mark Anderson, as co-producer, the track features Paul DeHaven on guitar and drums with Anderson on drum machines, bass and synth.

During the recording of the eight-song album, Low drummer Mimi Parker tragically passed away, steering the feel from a compilation to “more of a tribute and homage to her legacy.” The accompanying music video for Lorenzen’s “Words” was filmed on a snowy night in Southern Colorado by videographer Jacqueline Badeaux. “We explored themes of overwhelm, wanting to express through physical rather than verbal language, as well as lamentations of the cosmos,” said Lorenzen of the video’s inspiration. The final product was filmed with a slow shutter speed and red flashlight at night, “transforming the snowfall into glowing embers falling from the sky.”

Allison Lorenzen

Photography by Jacqueline Badeaux

2024 will see Lorenzen’s completed second album, some of whose songs were recorded at home during a Covid-induced “fever dream state,” while “others have contributions from friends such as Madeline Johnston of Midwife, Mark Anderson, and Miles Eichner.” Differentiating from her debut album, Tender, the songs on this next effort have a “wider sonic range,” with the album as a whole being “more expansive, yet inhabits deeper emotional and sonic realms.” The album’s inspiration is dynamic, deep and vast — “I’ve been reckoning with some great loss this year, which is definitely reflected in some of the songs, as well as themes of vampiric love, outsider-hood, eternal return and the bargaining process of grief and commitment to self.”