“Can I make it clear?” Lorely Rodriguez asks within the opening moments of her debut album, Me. If clarity is what she seeks, Lorely has found it: her voice upfront, every word audible and strong. Her singular voice is the centerpiece of Me, her first full-formed vision of an album, following her previously shorter and more abstract releases as Empress Of. “Don’t tell me who I am,” she sings seconds later.
On a cold January morning, Lorely sits at the kitchen table at her current sublet apartment, sifting through a composition book, pages of lyrics stained by coffee and cognac, shuffling through photo prints from the trip to Mexico where she wrote the initial sketches of the record. The album is filtered through imagery from this 5-week retreat, a lens through which Lorely looks both inward and outward, reflects and looks forward, finds strength and vulnerability.