Folk duo Easily Amused finds direction in influences

Kari Petrie

“I absolutely loved Lilith Fair,” coos Renee Lamoureux, lead vocalist for Canadian folk duo Easily Amused. “I love all of those performers. They had so much influence on me.”

And so goes the story of this girl. From a little town outside of Montreal, Lamoureux honed her musical talents, playing mostly for fun and only dreaming of someday making CD’s and performing in front of audiences like the Lilith Fair ladies she adores.

“I always wanted to play music, but I had no direction. I’ve played music all my life, but when I met Keith [Macpherson, guitarist and vocalist for Easily Amused], I got serious,” said Lamoureux.

The two singers compliment each other exceptionally well and their chemistry is apparent in each of the songs. “This Girl,” the finest track from their new CD Novice, displays Lamoureux’s vulnerable side and Macpherson’s straightforward guitar work.

“[The song] is about a girl I knew who was going through tough times. She was caught in a bad relationship and I felt sympathetic for her. I just really wanted to help her, so I wrote this song. The songs come from what I see. It doesn’t happen to me personally, but it affects me,” Lamoureux said.

As the Lilith Fair movement of the late ’90s seems to have faded from the mainstream, its influence can still clearly be heard in Easily Amused.

In fact, the duo’s main downfall is their lack of uniqueness. Heavily influenced by Indigo Girls, Lamoureux and Macpherson never quite develop a personal style. Even Lamoureux’s voice is reminiscent of Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers’.

Easily Amused may be using the old folk formula, but their sound offers an alternative from the rock and pop-dominated radio.

The lyrics, which cover some over-done topics such as relationships and depression, still manage to offer valuable insight into the natural feelings of average people. Easily Amused also shows that the female perspective is still a relevant one during a time of economic and political uncertainty.

Easily Amused sings of love, loss and female troubles with their acoustic guitars in tow. On their debut album, Novice, Lamoureux and Macpherson show off their crisp vocals and perceptive lyrics.

“I want people to know that what they’re going through-everyone goes through. Yet, at the same time, it’s feel good music,” Lamoureux said.

Easily Amused have cancelled their scheduled concert in the Twin Cities tonight.