Wed, 19 Feb 2014 10:22:00
"I love Los Angeles," exclaims Laurel while surveying the city from the rooftop of her hotel. "I want this to be my home now! I can't face going back to London. I've got to move here!"
Laurel possesses the kind of creativity that will flourish anywhere whether it's under London's clouds or Southern California's sun. A vibrant aura punctuates her music, bringing it to life vividly on tracks like "Blue Blood" and "Fire Breather". It's unpredictable, unique, and unrestrained, and brandishes indie integrity while emanating pop charm. You'll fall under her spell after one listen.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Laurel discusses "Fire Breather", her creative process, movies that inspire her and so much more.
Your music has an ethereal quality to it. There's a lot happening sonically.
Yeah, I'm producing it all as well. Really, it's just me on the computer going a bit mad and thinking, "Oh, what can I put in this next song?" I find new songs on the computer every day and ask, "How can I fit this into my songs?" I found a song called "Warplane", and it's literally a plane falling out of the sky. Somehow, I've put it into every song I've written in the past two weeks [Laughs]. It's such a wicked sound, but it's weird. I love weird sounds like that. I put different filters and effects on them to make them part of the song. There's a lot to listen to. In "Fire Breather" and the music that's about to come out soon, there's definitely some crazy shit going on in there. "Blue Blood" is simpler with pianos and strings. I've been getting a bit crazier at the moment.
What's the story behind "Fire Breather"?
All of my songs are about things I've been through or I can relate to. I wrote "Fire Breather" at a time when I was hanging out with someone. I felt like that person was really beautiful, but I felt like he outshined me. When I was I hanging out with him, I felt like I was constantly in his shadow and not good enough. It's that battle. In every relationship, there will always be that person who doesn't feel good enough or secure. I played on that and explored it a bit. It's a destructive relationship in a way.
Did it get competitive?
No, it's more that feeling of when you're not comfortable with someone in a relationship. You just met them. They're so charming, and they shine for you. You're absorbed by them and taken in. You think, "Oh, they're outshining me. They're better than me. How can I be with someone so good looking when it's just me?" It's that. As I was writing the song, more things came out. It was about how fun the relationship was but I didn't know whether I was secure.
Is it important for you to paint a visual picture with your lyrics?
Definitely, I really love film. I love lyrics. I want you to get a visual image when you listen to my songs. I love putting stories to songs. The lyrics are quite literal. You can see them happening in everyday life. For "Fire Breather", I think I was on YouTube looking at random videos when I was bored and uninspired. I saw a "Fire Breather", and I was like, "Hey, this would be a wicked song!" That's where that came from.
What movies do you come back to?
I really love this movie called Candy. That's probably my favorite film. It's amazing. Then, I love Little Miss Sunshine. One of my favorites would be Where the Wild Things Are. It's a kids film. I love it! Whenever I'm feeling sad, I'm in a bad mood, or I'm hungover, I put that film on, and it makes me feel like a really young kid. It takes me to a different land [Laughs]. I just saw the film Rush, which is so good. Chris Hemsworth is in it. I don't know if you've seen that either, but I just saw it on the plane over here. It's so good. It's one of my favorite films!
What's the premise of Candy?
Heath Ledger's in Candy. It's about two people who fall in love, and they turn into junkies. It's about how their relationship falls apart. There's beautiful scenery and real poetry. You should definitely check it out. There are some great scenes I take my song lyrics from. They're a bit drunk, and they go through a carwash.
Where did "The Desert" come from?
I released this song under this project called "Next Time" about two years ago. "The Desert" is like the end of the song "Next Time". It's the next chapter of it. "The Desert" is a follow-up, and it's probably one of my favorites to perform on stage. It's epic to sing. It's a nice ballad, and the lyrics really mean a lot to me.
What artists shaped you?
The first person I listened to that inspired me was Britney Spears. When I was four-years-old, I saw her, and I was like, "I want to be a singer. That seems fun!" As I got older, I heard Laura Marling when I was about 13-years-old. That's when I started to listen to more alternative music with lyrics and stories. She is who I come back to now, listen to, and evaluate where I am with my music I guess. I love all sorts of music. I don't like to stick to a particular genre just interesting songs that aren't too expected. Laura Marling inspired me to write music though definitely.
Have you heard Laurel yet? Be sure to check out her website!