Things are hopping at the Visible Music College, the private music and worship arts college that’s settling into some cool digs downtown on Madison. Ken Steorts, a contemporary-Christian artist, started the school in Lakeland in 2000 after touring with his band and seeing young musicians in need of career training and preparation for the market for religious music. Today, Visible is an accredited college occupying the former C&I Bank building on Madison across from AutoZone Park. The school has been established long enough that its graduates are starting to emerge as talented musicians.
Laramie is a slickly produced pop group fronted by Laramie Renae, a singer and lyricist with a degree from Visible. Laramie released The Good Men
EP in late 2013. Renae obliquely involves religion in her lyrics. Her songs do not advance any course fundamentalism, but rather a sobering assessment of character and its consequences. “Charlotte’s Waltz” depicts real world skullduggery in images of bleak apparitions, maybe ghosts or just soulless folks. Maybe both. “Whisper” invokes an old religious saw about renunciation of the world and its temptations but does so in a manner that shows a woman establishing boundaries for herself with a show of strength that is more Old Testament or apocryphal than the conventional take on the Good News. But existential dread remains a haunting presence in the lyrics. This is deeper material than you might expect to find. The backing band is very solid and features other Visible graduates.
Laramie will play Lafayette’s on Wednesday, October 29th. She has obviously learned a thing or two in her time at the Visible School. To express her gratitude, she is donating all of the proceeds from that performance to the Providence Project, a program that covers the tuition gaps faced by Visible students from foreign countries. Visible has attracted students from as far away as Nepal.