New Music Monday: Laura Jansen
Yes, so, this is a weird one. Laura’s pretty famous in my country, but she’s also from my country, so that doesn’t mean she’s famous abroad. And I only have three Dutch followers on here, so I’m guessing most don’t know her yet. (Hey, it’s my blog.)
Jansen’s second album Elba was released earlier this year, and spawned two singles (so far): ‘Queen of Elba' and 'Golden’. Both great songs. Last year, album track ‘Same Heart' was released, with guest vocals from Tom Chaplin from Keane. Also a great song. But it's album opener ’The Lighthouse’ which made me sit up and take notice.
The song’s lyrics are amazing. Very dark, especially considering her previous work: “Wherever we turn / The monster’s sure to follow / They scratch at the door / They’ll eat us all alive”. The song opens with a vocal loop of Jansen’s voice. Her actual voice grabs you when the first verse begins. The chorus has a hook, line and sinker. There are additional musical gags spread throughout the song (a yelled “Yeah!” following the line “We’ll run for the horizon”, or an extra drumfill on “We’re banging the drums”). And the piano is lightly present, yet so important.
It took me a while to get into this album. It’s very different from her debut. But I interviewed Laura once, and one quote of that interview recently came to mind again: "Everyone comes to LA to become a musician, actor or screenwriter. I became desponded over that. But I kept going, mostly because I’m very stubborn." She knows that she will always have to keep pushing the envelope, music-wise, to make it. Which is exactly what she did on this album. And that’s why I will always keep my eye on her music, because there will always be something there.
It kinda sounds like…
Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Imogen Heap
Baby cages used to ensure that children get enough fresh air and sunlight when living in an apartment building, ca. 1937 (via)
You can crown me the queen of elba
Black pen on paper
Date: August 2013
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”