Novice folk duo stepping up

By James Keller

While waiting for Renée Lamoureux to pick up the phone, you could hear her guitar in the background, layered with her simple voice that blends easily with the notes and rhythms of her music.

"We were just writing a song here a couple days ago, so we’re just getting it together," says half of the folk duo Easily Amused about their new song, "This is Quite a Change." "The song is about a girl who leaves her boyfriend–it really has nothing to do with my life right now."

Although the content of the song isn’t related to any soon-to-be-over relationships for Lamoureux, she admits that it may have been inspired in part by things going on in her life and career.

"I am doing a lot of changes in my life with this whole business and travelling and stuff," explains Lamoureux.

These changes include a new CD and a new tour, which put the duo on the same bill as the Crash Test Dummies, Sass Jordan and Tegan and Sara. Lamoureux explains that while this is a positive direction for herself and bandmate Keith Macpherson, she still gets a little nervous around bigger stars.

"I was a little intimidated at first, before even meeting them, but they were great–totally down to earth," she says about playing with
the Crash Test Dummies recently. "But sometimes it can get a little scary."

Over the course of their tour, Easily Amused have brought their light guitar sound, filled with well planned vocal harmonies, to fans with both a full band behind them, or just acoustically.

"[It] depends on the venues," says Lamoureux about the differences in performances, noting that when they play in Calgary it will be the trimmed down duo format. "We book a lot of coffee houses and even at festivals we can get away with playing as a duo, but when we can bring in a band–when we can afford it–it’s totally worth it."

The response from fans has been nothing but positive, and Lamoureux hopes their debut CD, Novice, released on Festival Distribution, will only help the situation. The music on the disc, which Lamoureux compares to the Indigo and describes as "driving music," compliments Lamoureux and Macpherson’s lyrics, which typically focus on real-life experiences that will be accessible to listeners and audiences.

"The lyrics are really honest," says Lamoureux. "I guess our goal when we write is almost a kind of relieving music, and what we’re writing about is what people go through and what others can relate [to]."

Their lyrics speak to larger and sometimes hurtful experiences of the listener and hope to offer support. This sense of connection in the lyrics also helps in the writing process.

"I write a lot if I’m feeling down and it relieves you in a sense," she says. "It’s almost therapeutic."