Let's be honest here, when you think indie artist, you might see a wide range of styles and personalities, but you don't often come across a musician, that brings warmth and sunshine. That is the case with Laurell, a Vancouver raised indie pop singer, who is currently on a cross Canada tour in support of her latest album "Can't Stop Falling".
I happened to catch her show when she last performed in Toronto April 7th, 2010. She was on a triple billed show at The Supermarket, along with fellow artists: Stephanie Braganza and Karina ES. Although I missed her performance in March during CMW, I was impressed on this April night with her and her band's note perfect professionalism. They had their music and parts down pat!
She went through a lot of her songs in the approximately 1 hr. set, with highlights including: Without You, I Lied, and of course the single "Can't Stop Falling" (all these were from the current album). Laurell was engaging with the audience and sharing the motives for writing her songs (see below, "I Lied").
Her music is bright and shiny pop with strong lyrics, and is very much what I'd call "Summer-time" music (and Spring too). It's just kind of music you want to listen to on a sunny Toronto day. If you are wondering, Laurell is finishing her east coast tour in the Barrie, (ON) in the next 2 nights. Laurell is performing May 29th in The Monsoon Lounge. Her final show on the east coast tour is at Barrie's Waterfront Festival. If you get the chance, check out her latest album "Can't Stop Fallin" on her Myspace:www.myspace.com/listentolaurell.
P.S. Check out her tour vlogs (video logs) that you can click on at the bottom of this article.
Conversation with Laurell after her April 7th show in Toronto (The Supermarket):
J: How many dates do you have on this tour?
L: That's a good question (laughs). In total, it's two months worth of shows, I don't shows every single night, but uh, there's about 40 shows total...wouldn't you say Sarah? Ya, between 40 and 50 shows.
J: Are you going Newfoundland to Vancouver?
L: Uh we...I'll cover up my dog's privates (big laughs), This is G-rated. We went as far as Montreal, and we're now heading West back to Vancouver, so you are catching just past the halfway point on the tour.
J: How do you feel?
L: I'm really greatful to be so busy...cause there is a lot of interest from media and radio, and we are visiting like multiple radio stations a day. And um, obviously, having the invitation to come, and being interviewed and do stuff like that, is pretty cool! (pause) Basically I will have played every Canadian city in 3 months.
J: Is this your first big tour?
L: Basically yah. I've toured Canada before, but not to this extent, and not with this kind of publicity and promotion happening behind it. So definitely not with this kind of radio support behind it.
J: And how much has been your management, in putting this all together, like been for you to just focus:
L: Well actually, As a matter of fact, my manager had to take an (Vancouver) Olympic contract, so that was far more work than what she expected. Ya, so we have been a little bit like mad, like crazy, so I have been booking my own tour this time. In the past, my manager is the one that does all of my tour booking and she is really great at that.
(cheerfully) It was kinda fun to take the front seat and do all my bookings this time. So uh, it's been, I can't really remember the question, it's been quite a lot of work. They say that you need to get more people involved when you're too busy, and I feel like I'm at that point where I'm like, "I can't do it all on my own!" And I do have a great team of people here. Like Sarah, and Trevor, Trevor's the bus driver, and my fiancee! And I have a great radio promoter, and I have been using a publicist from Toronto called Strut Entertainment, and they are great too!
And I have tonnes of businesses that are sponsoring me, which is fantastic, like Mavi jeans, Sugarlime Jewellary, Ian Deburn Salons, they're fantastic.So my major ones are Ian Deburn Salons, Mavi, Sugarlime, ya like they're just really helping me do what I do. And than Hangers is another one that's a local store in Vancouver that outfitted me for my entire tour! Mavi's national, and the rest of them are Vancouver based companies, but like Sugarlime Jewellary ships all over the place, like they're online.
J: I'm making the assumption that...your band is so tight because you know them so well?
L: They're also the best players the best players in Canada.
J: The best players in Canada. That is on the record!
L: (big laughter!) So they, they have that going for them too! Hahaha in my opinion o.k! It's my opinion...but still. They're top notch guys, they're amazing studio players, and uh they know each other too. So they all played on my record, they know the music quite well. And I have a band back home in Vancouver too, so it's nice to be able to kind of come here, play a show here, with these awesome guys, and then come back to Vancouver.
J: This band is your like...band band. Your west coast band? I don't understand...
L: I do a lot more touring with my band back home, and I've known them for years....they were a part of helping develop the arrangements of the songs, so they have um credit on the album for just their ideas, being a part of the record even though they weren't the ones that actually played the music. I came out here and recorded with these players because they're fantastic and because Ron is amazing producer. He's the keyboard player, he produced my album. And then, it's neat because it's been a real Vancouver Toronto kind of mix, I had the album mixed by Ryan Stewart, back literally down the street from my house in North Vancouver. And he works with Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessie Farrell, and lots of great people. So, um we've known each other since, High school jazz band days...we went to two different...ya I'm a jazz major, a vocal jazz major.
J: Do you think going on this tour, this is a big opportunity to pick up fans because I know when you play a show you can earn the fans/win them over and then it spreads to that city, and you just spoke about your success...how much are you like, here we go, Laurell bus now we're going to attack!
L: Well we know that touring and radio support and word of mouth, they all work together in obviously publicity helps, and having media coverage, and visiting radio stations. Just doing as much as I possibly can to spread the love, and share this music, and get it out there because I would hate for the album to kind of pass us all by, and not be heard and not reach the people might, it might need to reach. So basically, I feel motivated about everything that's happening, and the support, and at the same time really pleased with how much has happened so far, and where it's headed, and again it's something that you spend so much time on preparing for, right in the terms of this creed of project and then to have the response it's been getting, is something you couldn't pre-arrange that right, it's something that is just kind of this massive blessing, knowing that people are enjoying it. I'm a people pleaser so I couldn't ask for anything better right!! (big laughs)
J: Last question...For your fans (Toronto, Indie, etc.) that are buzzing about Laurell. What would you like to say about them? If I were to write an article and talk about the fans, and then Laurell says...(How do you feel about my fans).
L: Basically, if I didn't have fans, I wouldn't be able to do what I do. They are, first and foremost, the reason I am able to do this. Out of appreciation, I try to be in touch with them as much as possible. So, on Facebook I have made myself really accessible, and I to answer every single message or comment, that's put up there, so they can feel they are a part of my journey, and I want them to feel like they are, because they really are. So, I want them to take as much of an initiative as they want to, or feel that they can, you know in order to help this be a little more of a joint venture rather then just me out there...I don't know, I want it to be more than just me. I like getting to know my fans, and seeing familiar faces in concerts. And it blows me away when I look out into the crowd and people are singing the words to my songs and they actually know the words, that always blows my mind.
|Monsoon Lounge||Barrie, ON|
|Barrie Waterfront Festival||Barrie, ON|
|Outlaw Urban Clothing Company||Quesnel, BC|
|Moose Meadows Farm||Quesnel, BC, CANADA|
|Goldpan City Dance Studio||Quesnel, BC|
|The Artspace (Books & Co.)||Prince George, BC|
LAURELL TOUR VLOGS
Laurell's Twitter: twitter.com/laurellmusic