Laurel: The new Lana del Rey or indie-rock queen?

By Zsofi Borsi

Listening to the 22-year-old London-based singer, Laurel’s Spotify playlist, Sunday Groovy Town on a Sunday night, got me just in the right mood for interviewing her: funky-electronic tunes, harsh guitars and a hint of girlpower, oh I was so ready…until I call her manager and learn that he has not prepared the interview- luckily, my voice sounded disappointed and determined enough to end up going to Laurel’s hotel and meeting her there, while she was getting ready for the gig.

She comes down in sweatpants, oversized hoodie and trainers; and, still manages to look better than me in one of my carefully planned, cool-enough-for-Newcastle outfits. Being in a rush didn’t stop her from giving in-depth answers to my rather rambling questions.

This is your first tour, am I right?

Yes, absolutely. I’ve been on a couple of tours supporting other bands though, but this is my first headline tour. It feels pretty good!

Have you ever performed in Newcastle before?

I’ve never even been to Newcastle, this is my first time here. It’s crazy! But I’m from the South-coast, so quite far actually.

So I guess you don’t come up to the North that often…What are your first impressions?

I’ve been to Glasgow a few times, but never Newcastle. Well, I’ve had some really nice food, but it’s just so cold here – I haven’t had time to explore yet, though.

Your new EP, Park, just came out in November. Could you say a few words about that?

Well, the name was inspired because I’m living in London at the moment – I lived near a park called London Fields for the whole year while I was writing the EP; a sequence of events happened as I was living there, and they all seemed to revolve about being in-and-out in this park. It consists of four songs, they kind of run in the order of the story of what really happened…

I bet it has to do with love…

Yeah, to be honest, it’s all really about love.

You record all your music at home – why is that, what do you enjoy about it?

I do, indeed. I like working on my own, it’s more comfortable and cheaper. Oh and, I just don’t have a music studio basically. It might be nice moving out as I wouldn’t distract my neighbours so much with my distorting guitar sounds.

Which part of making music do you enjoy the most?

Writing, I’d say. The buzz that I feel when I’ve just written a song is just incomparable. I love gigging too, it’s so fun to be on the road, but I think everything combined make the experience so special.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Just from my life, really. There’s always some drama going on.

In terms of music, who are your influences?

Hmm… Stephen Malkmus, Fleetwood Mac and a guy called Mac Demarco. But also hip-hop production like Tyler the Creator, he’s just so cool. And I love all the songs on my Spotify playlist, I’m obsessed with all this male indie band stuff.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in music?

I remember when I started out, performing alone at the age of 14, people must have looked at me like, what is she doing, she is never going to make it. But you know, over the years, you just get better, so I guess my advice would be that don’t be turned away from things by what other people say. You never know how good you can get.

Would you say that your music has changed over the years?

Yeah, over the years it has changed enormously. In the end though, it always comes back to playing the guitar and simple love songs really. But as you grow up as a person, the things you create just become different.

What would you do if you weren’t a musician?

I love using words in general, so I would probably do something with English, writing books or poetry. Definitely wouldn’t be a sports person, I’m just the worst.

My final question is: what is next, what is coming up in the future?

Christmas! I’ve just finished writing my album, I need to do a few final touches on that. It comes out early next year. I’m also planning a European tour, it would be great to go outside the UK as well. So yeah, I guess just more and more stuff really.

The concert was in Think Thank Underground, a hidden little treasure under Head of Steam; Laurel’s performance was genuine, emotional and original. She truly has the potential to become big, so I would recommend keeping an eye on her music.

Featured Image: Zsofi Borsi

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