When New Times
last spoke with Lamebot back in 2017
, the DJ and electronic musician would only allow himself to be seen in public masked. Onstage behind the deck, he appeared like a cross between Dr. Doom and Daft Punk. But love in the time of COVID-19 has seen him bare all — both lyrically and facially.
"I'll still bring the mask sometimes, but I definitely don't wear it as often," he says. "It gets hot, and my glasses fog up by the end of the first song. I'll wear it if I get the lay of the land, and it looks like I can wear it comfortably, but most times I go naked now."
Revealing more of Lamebot's true self dovetails with the lyrical themes of his new EP, TBH... (To Be Honest)
, set for release on August 13. The four-track record was two years in the making and took most of the lockdown to complete.
"COVID was such a weird time for everything. Time slowed down and sped up," Lamebot says. "A six-month relationship I had felt like a two-year relationship."
The dissolution of the pandemic relationship served as inspiration for the tracks on TBH
"Break-up songs are usually either really sad or really aggressive," he adds. "I wanted to make something about letting go with love and at the same time make the music danceable."
While Lamebot spent his early childhood in Canada and New York, he says his move to Miami as a middle-schooler really shaped him musically. The influences of Miami bass and Latin rhythms continue to be heard through his newest release. TBH opens with "Had 2 Go," which he says he wasn't sure if it should open or end the EP.
"I almost thought about looping it so it would be the first and the last song," he explains. "Prior to COVID, I was very good at shutting people off that I didn't think were good for me. I'd block numbers and close people off. This song was about realizing you can let go in a much lighter way."
The producer says the second track, "Work 2 Da Beat," has been receiving the best response. Influenced by Jersey Club and New Orleans bounce, the track is one Lamebot hopes to make a music video for down the road.
"It's about how heartbreak is cynical and being able to dance out the heartbreak," he says of the song. "It's an instructional twerk song. I wanted to make it sound like yearning but still keep it fun."
"U Know U Got Me" was inspired by early-2000s Brazilian funk, also known as baile funk.
Says Lamebot: "That shaped the simplicity of the song. It's about how some people will always have a place in your heart regardless of the outcome. I didn't want anything to get in the way of that feeling."
Finally, there's the closer, "Mimosa Sorbet," a song he wrote in A major. That's a key that Lamebot says is usually considered light and happy, but he allows the song to get weird.
"I used a lot of melodies. I wanted something hummable that would have you always remembering the hook," he adds. "It's about gaining acceptance when things don't go how you want. Sometimes you can't have what the heart wants."
To celebrate the EP's release on August 13, Lamebot will perform TBH
front-to-back live at the Citadel on that same date. Otto Von Schirach will host and pay tribute to local bass legend Uncle Al.
Whether Lamebot will show up with his face covered by a mask remains to be seen.
"I feel more comfortable putting my face out there now," he says.
Lamebot Album Release Party. 8 p.m. Saturday, August 13, at the Citadel, 8300 NE Second Ave., Miami. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.