Lauren records and releases new song dedicated to Esme Barrera — a fellow Girl’s Rock Camp Austin volunteer who was tragically taken from this world on New Year’s Day.  Download new song “Gleam” and donate here.  100% of all proceeds go to help Esme’s family at:

Our community recently lost an amazing friend, activist, teacher, and music fan.  Esme Barrera was murdered early New Year’s Day at her home in central Austin.

I had the honor of working with Esme for 4 years at Girls Rock Camp Austin. We rarely encounter people so inspiring — whose compassion and joy are contagious.  Esme was the unique gift of a person who could ease a new girl’s fear at Rock Camp with a hug — who a Waterloo customer remembers for her smile — who a local band remembers for rocking out in the front row.  Esme was the epitome of awesome.

The day after I heard the news she was gone, I went in to Resonate Studios with Louie Lino to track a song I’d been holding inside for a long time and that I wanted to dedicate to Esme. Louie offered to add keyboards and the result of this January afternoon is what you hear below.

During recording, I learned that Esme once lived above the studio and was a dear friend of Louie and his family.  I’ve been overwhelmed with how many people her light has touched.  Even now Esme is inspiring our community and bringing people together (the Austinist has compiled an ever-growing list of tributes).  This song is simply an attempt to honor that inspiration and to give something back.  Thank you, Esme, for all that you gave and thank you, Louie, for working with me on this song.

You can listen to and download “Gleam” here:  100% of all sales will go straight to Esme’s family.  Please give what you can through naming your own price for the song or by donating directly to

Lauren / Ume

“The year she lived with us, Esme became part of my family.  She has been a friend, my daughter’s teacher and my musical touchstone ever since I’ve known her.  We can’t replace her.  But she will always inspire us.” ~ Louie Lino, January 2012