Lorenze Beltran is a small-town college student who likes making music and expressing his emotions through it. A nursing major with reduced free time, he loves listening to music and making his own when he has the chance. Lorenze parents always knew he loved music, but he never pursued it seriously until he was 18. One of the biggest factors was his mom’s death when I was 15. He felt like he had failed her for never starting his career earlier so he is trying to make up for it now. Lorenze’s inspiration for his EP “I’m OK”, was his acceptance of himself and the situation he was put in. Broken up with multiple times, he never confronted those who hurt him, or kept those emotions to himself. Instead Lorenze made music about his afflictions, without ever going into the specifics, to respect the privacy of those involved. “It was never about getting back at them,” say Lorenze Beltran. “It was just getting better. Letting my friends know, and myself, that I’m OK.”
Since this album was never meant to be straightforward pop or overly produced, the sound is beautifully understated and smooth. Hence the intricacies that make Lorenze Beltran’s songwriting both pleasant and meaningful, remain fully intact.
The performer’s ability to make something sound intimate, whether it’s in your bed or in your earbuds on your daily train ride, is only brought into a finer light with this tastefully restrained production. The songs are brought to life with gently perfected bass and drums, and has a sound that is more expansive when it opens up with the jangly guitar and shimmering keys.
In this transitional period of his life he portrays love, loss, heartbreak and so much more. And he does it deeply and broadly, with extraordinary emotion, but without any melodramatics. The songs’ afflicting nuances are contained within the lyrics, and the storytelling qualities of the singer’s voice.
The production successfully enhances and humbly strengthens the despair, joy, passion, and sentiment in Lorenze Beltran’s songwriting.
Right from the opening track, “Nightlife”, Lorenze Beltran creates an inverted sonic landscape where sparse, skittering drums eat away at the edges of layered, melodic downtempo ambiance. Clean guitar lines steadily invade the soundscape, while Lorenze’s vocals are confessional conversations, demanding that listeners show up for the music and participate. This is a most intimate and revealing record, as we slowly discover moving forward through “Rain” and then “Cozy”.
Yet even when Lorenze alludes to some hurtful truths, on songs like “You & Me”, “Okay” and “The DVDs”, his keen sense for observational details and impeccable songwriting prevent them from sounding like hopeless dirges. In fact, in between the obvious fragility, these heart-rending compositions not only show a sense of self-discovery, but also a beautiful sense of hope.
One of the most impressive aspects of Lorenze Beltran as an artist is how much he can accomplish with such simple-seeming arrangements, and a candid no-frills voice. “I’m OK” has a contemporary vibe to it and carries a unique charm to its music. It is an original, thoughtful, and absorbing listening experience.