Lauren Larson Of Ume Releases Song In Memory Of Esme Barrera

posted January 16, 2012

Lauren Larson Of Ume Releases Song In Memory Of Esme Barrera

On January 1, 2012, the music community tragically lost 29-year old Esmeralda (Esme) Barrera, a beloved fixture of the Austin music scene, when she was murdered at her home in Austin. In memoriam to friend and fellow volunteer at Girls Rock Camp Austin, Lauren Langner Larson of Austin trio Ume has written, recorded and released a new song, "Gleam." The track, available at, can be downloaded for a donation in which the band is asking people to name their price and donate whatever they can. Donations are also being accepted at 100% of all sales will go directly to Barrera's family. 

"I had the honor of working with Esme for four years at Girls Rock Camp Austin," says Larson. "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. She was the epitome of awesome."

The day after Larson heard the news about Barrera she decided to record a song she had been holding inside for a long time and to dedicate it to Barrera. The twinkling acoustic track "Gleam," a departure from Larson's usual distorted guitar assault, was recorded at Resonate Studios with Louie Lino of Nada Surf who leant his production skills and supplied keyboards. "During recording I learned that Esme once lived above the studio and was a dear friend of Louie and his family," offers Larson. "The year she lived with us, Esme became part of my family," says Lino. "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."

"I've been overwhelmed with how many people her light has touched," expresses Larson. "Even now Esme is inspiring our community and bringing people together. 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." 

Ume will open for Cursive on tour in February, including a performance at Noise Pop in San Francisco. 


  • January 28 - Austin, TX @ The Parish - Oh Snap! Festival and Benefit*
  • February 12 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
  • February 14 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
  • February 15 - Boise, ID @ Neurolux
  • February 17 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
  • February 18 - Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club
  • February 19 - Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
  • February 22 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
  • February 24 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
  • February 25 - Pomona @ The Glasshouse
  • February 26 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
  • February 27 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
  • February 28 - Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
  • March 2 - Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
  • March 3 - Omaha, NE @ Slowdown

*without Cursive