As a new voice in the crowded world of indie rock, Richmond, Virginia’s Sammi Lanzetta is poised to stand out with her debut EP, For Avery (2017). The EP’s brisk ten minutes waste no time in introducing her charming collision of raw instrumentation, nervous energy, and confident melodies, marked by the 21-year-old’s ability to communicate a broad range of personality and humanity into concisely catchy tunes. Lanzetta’s dynamic voice, perhaps her greatest tool, darts between soulful, vulnerable, and commanding with ease, perfectly complimenting a conversational lyricism that can often go from angry, to humorous, to heartbreaking, all in the space of a single song.
Lanzetta’s mixture of self-effacement and determination is the hallmark of her work, especially as she turned from previous time spent in bands and focused more purposefully on her solo efforts. When one of her close friend’s niece was born — Avery — Lanzetta discovered an unintentional through-line in her new music: she was writing songs for her younger self, or maybe one day for a teenaged Avery. Songs that could be encouraging when the rest of the world isn’t; raw anthems for standing up for yourself and celebrations of both strength and vulnerability.
Sammi Lanzetta’s debut is an exciting beginning for a solo artist whose instinct isn’t to fit into a mold, but to break it. Her dedication to simply being herself feels staunchly singular and incredibly inviting at the same time, and with every burst of gritty guitar, undeniable hook, or relatable insight, Lanzetta makes it clear that For Avery is for everyone.