Maybe you don’t know it just yet, but Santa Fe band Lamby should be on your radar ASAP so frontwoman/band architect Georgina Hahn can serenade you with songs about kindness and softness and just being whatever the heck kind of person you are.
Hahn’s name might be familiar to listeners of the locally-produced Eminent Domain audio drama from 2021 produced for audible.com; she worked in sound production for the effort. That project, she tells SFR, opened some serious doors for her and even resulted in a move to London to work in television sound.
Lamby is Hahn’s thing, though—like, it’s her thing, man: an unpredictable melange of alt.country, pop, rock, punk, doo-wop and Hahn’s croon that somehow sounds like Patsy Cline one moment, June Carter the next and a more raucous Dolly from time to time. Listeners will hear shades of Weezer, too, and maybe even nods to old Green Day, when they actually sounded punk, plus a lyrical homage to Hahn’s younger self, or at least a message of self-acceptance and call for growth while remaining forgiving. She’s human, after all. And I know, I know—this sounds like absurd levels of praise, but considering the short order in which Hahn brought the idea to full-fledged recording and performing outfit, it’s kind of staggering.
Even a few years ago, Hahn was toiling away at NYU in the architecture department, learning how urban design can influence urban behavior, and how art can intervene in the process.
“I realized the way I wanted to intervene was with music and entertainment,” she explains. “I realized in the end that I like performing the most.”
Post-college, Hahn lived a nomadic life before she sojourned to Los Angeles with a friend just before COVID-19 struck. Eventually, she says, they came to understand that while LA has countless cultural charms, lockdowns were preventing them from accessing or contributing to them. They visited Santa Fe for what was supposed to be a few months, and though the friend has since moved on, Hahn was, as she puts it, “enchanted and entrapped.”
You’ll hear that story a lot from Santa Fe arts types, but whereas it can be easy to fall into a romanticized notion of the town and the Southwest, the sense of community led Hahn to stay. Then came KMRD, that glorious community radio station in Madrid where music nerds and über-weirds can mastermind their own shows. Hahn’s Lamby Hour, a musical cavalcade named after a stuffed lamb she shared with the aforementioned friend, was supposed to be a temporary title, but citing the plushie’s softness and omnipresent comforting existence in her life, Hahn says, it stuck.
“I explored what Lamby would sound like,” she says, “what kind of world Lamby vibes and exists in—what was Lamby beyond shared friendship and love? It became an adjective like, ‘That’s so Lamby!’ So, when I was putting together a band it was so obvious. It was just Lamby.”
For backup, Hahn enlisted PSIRENS songwriter Paris Mancini on bass and drummer Dan Cuatt, a pair who have proven invaluable to the Lamby sound, according to Hahn. They understand the vision and deliver, adding dimension to every song without stealing focus from the messaging and Hahn’s beautiful, imperfect vocals. The trio recorded their forthcoming self-titled album at Black Mountain Recording Studio in Louth, Ireland, under the watchful eye of producer August Ogren (Unkown Mortal Orchestra; Bad Bad Hats), and the results speak for themselves. On the record, Hahn delves into a hybrid inner/outer lyrical style. Is she singing only to a younger version of herself, or to those in her community? Everyone assigns their own meanings to songs they like; Hahn’s words work well for that—or for directing toward those we love. The whole story is right there, in her words, plain as day but pleasing to hear.
“I keep floating down the river, passing by my little dream” Hahn sings on the track “Death,” both contextualizing and lionizing the fleeting nature of art and musicmaking; “Are you with me?” she asks on the mid-tempo bop “All My Clothes.”
I am so totally with you.
Lamby: 8 pm Saturday, June 10. Free. Second Street Brewery (Rufina Taproom), 2920 Rufina St., (505) 954-1068