Kareen Lomax On New Single "Muse" And The Atlanta Sound

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I’ve never been to Atlanta. My only interaction with the famed city has come through airport layovers or a passing glance through a plane window. I’ve never walked the city streets or explored any of its history, but in listening to Kareen Lomax, I feel as if I’ve been there, as if I’ve lived an entire lifetime in Georgia.

Incorporating the magic of the South into her music is intentional. As Lomax explains, inspiration for much of her material has come directly from the city she calls home. She used to spend her days exploring, and she used that youthful spirit of exploration as the basis for her music. “I just spent a lot of time outside, in the woods, and in the suburbs,” she says. “My parents and I used to take these long 10-hour car trips, often to go see my grandparents, and I would write and listen to music the whole way.”

Lomax’s latest release, “Muse”, is a tender track that evokes the sight of scenery slowly passing by, as though from a train window. An earlier, more acoustic-driven single, “Been In Love”, holds the full weight of life-changing memories. Lomax uses music as her outlet and shares her view of the world through her recordings.

Lomax spent much of her childhood alone, and she turned to the Internet for company, learning the fundamentals of music through online tutorials. “Between growing up and having a problem with communication and being along half the time, music became my outlet,” she says. “I'm self-taught on everything and I pretty much learned through YouTube and experience.”

You can peer into Lomax’s musical journey through her SoundCloud. It’s an auditory exploration into continued growth, beginning with an EP released nearly three years ago. Her most recent music includes the electronic-influenced, slow-grooving pop of single “Clothes,” and the soulful fun of “nappy.” which begins with the quiet presence of church organs, seemingly plucked from a Sunday service.

She acknowledges that the city of Atlanta provides her with countless musical ideas, showcased on her most recent singles. However, she notes that other artists have been quick to draw on the city’s secrets for their sounds.

“Everybody has started to incorporate the Atlanta sound into their music with trap drums and whatnot,” she says “However, I'm actually from there and it just comes naturally to me, but in my own way. In the future I hope to grow. I will grow to be better so I can reach even more people.”

The artist hasn’t yet decided what her musical growth may look like when it comes to future material, but she is able to recognize how far she’s come. “I've grown tremendously, simply because now I can produce and create my own stuff from the ground up,” she said. “I've also discovered a lot of strengths that I didn't realize I had, arranging being one of them. Every song I co-produce/produce, or do post-production on. I want listeners to find their own story in my music because that's what I do when I listen.”

In the meantime, anytime I want to venture outside of Pennsylvania, I just have to turn to her previous recordings. And as she promises, “more” chapters in this already-gripping tale will be coming soon.

Lauren Rearick