Grace Lamerson speaks softly, laughs at herself and says, “I’m a musician,” with a hesitance that makes you question whether she even believes it herself.
But the apprehension evaporates when it comes to her music. Under the name “Bambii,” Lamerson, an 18-year-old Gainesville native, brings her fresh indie-pop flair to the local music landscape. Her newest single, “Red Corvette,” released Oct. 5, is a display of her developing sound and concept as well as a new creative direction for future projects.
Lamerson’s music offers chill-wave music with a twist: a distinctly retro feel she said was inspired by her love for classic styles and aesthetics.
“I really like vintage stuff and vintage music, and like vintage clothing and styling,” she said.
Her brand is tinged with the concept, even her name. Lamerson said she came up with the moniker after watching “The Carrie Diaries,” an 80s-inspired spinoff of “Sex and the City,” when a character calls someone “Bambi.”
One extra “i” later, the name stuck.
Her light vocals floar over dreamy guitar melodies that call back to ‘70s soft rock and early 2000s alternative pop. It’s a sound that she and her longtime collaborator Zachary Rodriguez created together from their affinity for a variety of genres, she said.
Lamerson has been steadily releasing music for just over a year. Her debut EP, “Dreamache,” came out in 2019 and was followed by two singles: “Sunsets,” later that year and “Religion” in May.
The vintage aspect is apparent once again on these projects. Minimal percussive elements back floaty synth lines, and samples reminiscent of cassette tapes and other older audio forms make up the intros and outros.
“Red Corvette” is a departure from this traditional sound. The song is faster, more upbeat, with hyperpop instrumentals that Rodriguez said were inspired by his own taste in music.
“We’re going with a way more hyperpop vibe, our sound is definitely influenced by that,” Lamerson said.
“Red Corvette” represents a thematic shift as well. Where the “Dreamache” EP addressed tumultuous relationships and teenage insecurities, the new release projects a decidedly more confident image.
The promotional photos and the music video, both shot by Michelle Chwala, an 18-year-old Gainesville videographer, are tinted with a light yellow hue that feels nostalgic and dream-like.
Chwala and Lamerson weren’t alone in the process, though: “Red Corvette” and its accompanying music video represent a collaborative effort from a host of local talent.
Rodriguez and Will Frenchman, another Gainesville producer, produced the song; Heather Terricola, a frequent production partner of Rodriguez, was responsible for the mixing and mastering; Grizzly, a 20-year-old Gainesville rapper, contributed a verse; and Chwala shot the video and the promotional photos.
For Lamerson, it was critical that the track’s creative team had young, local focus.
“It’s definitely important to support people your age and local people, and I think all the people I’ve worked with are really talented and deserve to have recognition,” she said.
“Red Corvette” is available on all major platforms.