New Video: Liz Lamere Shares Sultry, Boxing-Themed Visual for Thumping “Lights Out”

I’m grateful for New Colossus Festival’s triumphant return this week. But as you can imagine, it means that this week I’ll be very busy running around Manhattan’s Lower East Side to cover shows; chatting and bullshitting with friends and colleagues; and of course, doing that valuable in-person networking that has been hampered by the pandemic. I’ll be posting when I can; it’ll just be kind of sporadic.

But let’s get to the business at hand . . .

Liz Lamere is a New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, who has had a lengthy career playing drums in several local punk bands — and perhaps more famously for collaborating with her late partner, the legendary Alan Vega on his solo work for the better part of three decades.

Lamere finally steps out into the spotlight as a solo artist with her solo debut Keep It Alive. Written and performed entirely by Lamere, Keep It Alive was recorded in her Lower Manhattan apartment during pandemic-related lockdowns in the same space where the Suicide frontman constructed his light sculptures. Keeping it a family affair, the album was engineered by Vega and Lamere’s son, Dante Vega Lamere — and then co-produced by Lamere and The Vacant Lots‘ Jared Artaud.

“There’s something very magical about creating music in the same environment where Alan created his visual art,” Liz Lamere says in press notes. “His energy is pervasive and is inevitably infused in the recordings.” She continues “ We were living through unprecedented times and Keep It Alive took adversity and uncertainty and turned it into a message of resilience and empowerment.”

The album’s material reportedly courses with the bold and defiant energy that motivated a young Lamere through her early double life as a Wall Street lawyer by day and a downtown New York musician, before she met and fell i love with Vega. Her relationship with Vega led to her becoming his manager, creative foil and keyboardist on his solo work including albums like Deuce Avenue, Power On To Zero Hour, New Raceion, Dugong Prang, 2007, Station and IT, as well as the posthumously released, lost album Mutator, which lead to the Vega Vault, which she curates with Jared Artaud.

After Vega’s death in July 2016, Lamere found it cathartic to write down thoughts and observations in notebooks. Simultaneously, she and Artaud had started working together on overseeing the mastering of IT and the production and mixing of Mutator. Interestingly, during this very busy period, the pair discussed working together on her own solo material.

Keep It Alive‘s first single, “Lights Out” is a swaggering banger, featuring tweeter and woofer rattling 808s, glistening and melodic synth washes paired with Lamere’s coolly delivered boxing and fighting metaphors. While centered around a gritty and familiar, in-your-face, New York aggression, “Lights Out” is an upbeat, life-affirming song that will give you the energy to keep on fighting the necessary and good fight.

Interestingly, “Keep It Alive” is a homage to a song on her late husband’s New Raceion that has a deep and significant meaning for her. It was one of the key lines she would chant on stage, becoming a staple of their live performances together. The main theme and vision of the album is preserving your own inner fire. “Alan always encouraged me to make my own music, and I’ve waited until the time was right as I’ve been dedicated to preserving Alan’s vision and building his legacy,” Lamere says.

Lamere is an avid boxer, who has been involved in the boxing world for over fifteen years. And the Jenni Hensler-directed video for “Lights Out” was fittingly filmed on 8mm film at New York-based Trinity Boxing Club. The sultry video features Lamere and a collection of men and women of various ages and backgrounds at the punching bag and sparring to strobe lights, while others dance along.

“’Lights Out’ was the very first track I wrote,” Lamere says in press notes. “You write about what you know. It’s boxing themed. When you step in the ring your life is literally on the line. ‘Let your hands go’ is a boxing term and my mantra for going full tilt in whatever I’ve set out to do.” 

Keep It Alive is slated for May 20, 2022 release through In The Red.