Lori LaRayne Releases An Adventurous Full Length Album
Lori Lorayne returns with a full length album that tells a set of stories in the form of rustic style folk songs with a heavy theatrical overtone that brings them all to life.
The Thirst album is overflowing with emotionally driven tales and vocal harmonies that feel like being lost at sea.
Utilizing acoustic guitar and piano to accompany the artists passionate vocal performances, the record is a massive and intense release that delves deep into a different world all together and when it's over you have to shake the dust off and snap back into reality.
Theremin, banjo, and a beautiful set of organic instrumentation fills the air around you as you fall into the soundscape of this album.
The songs come across brutally honest and depict visions with detail and gorgeous composition all done with a tastefulness that creates this staple feel for her music as a whole.
There are plenty of classic country influences and songs you can get up and dance to along with the tell tale tracks that feel full.
Thirst is like reading an adventure book about the old west and it really is satiating in the end.
With such a wondrous and huge release, we had to have a chat with Lori to find out exactly where this all comes from and how it all began.
TSWS: Okay let's start with the Thirst album. This record has a rustic and storytelling folk approach with some outstanding instrumentation! Where did this record come from?
One of the best things about music is that if you are open to exploring, you will never, ever run out of new things to learn and new directions to wander. I started playing music about four years ago, and one thing led to another… it started with banjo, and then I started singing. I must have learned hundreds of old Appalachian folk and bluegrass songs over those few years. But a couple years ago when I started going through several different life crises at the same time, I knew I needed to break from the comfort and safety of age-worn and loved folk songs. I started writing my own songs and it became a form of therapy for me.
I really only played the banjo when I started the album. I wanted more instruments, but the songs are so personal, I knew it needed to be a solo project so I would feel safe enough to let go and say what I needed to say. So, with substantial help and encouragement from my producer Andy A at The Chop Shop (as well as his percussion throughout the album), I started picking up different instruments to add layers… bowed upright bass, musical saw, acoustic guitar, piano. I don’t really know how to play any of them, but I wanted all the emotion to come from me, even if it was imperfect.
TSWS: I'm hearing some awesome styles embedded in this record. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
My Appalachian folk influences are singers and banjo players who have this power and timeless truth in their voices: Ola Belle Reed and Doc Watson particularly. But my album unintentionally turned out so different from traditional folk. In retrospect, I can hear the influences from artists in different genres, like Bauhaus, Ludovico Einaudi, Mogwai, The Dresden Dolls, PJ Harvey, maybe some Lana Del Rey.
TSWS: This album feels like a concept record and songs feel like they connect. Is this true?
The songs are absolutely connected. They are about my journey through trauma, awakening, and hope that has been building up my whole life I guess, which all came to the surface over the past couple years. Heartbreak can teach you a lot about yourself, if you listen… it was the start of reflection on how it got to be this way, all the way from the beginning… childhood loneliness, relationship patterns, self-loathing, healing, and ultimately, life and death, and the search for meaning and connection within the magic of every day we have as imperfect humans on this beautiful planet.
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist?
I’m back in the studio now recording a single that wasn’t right for the album… it’s a sweet, upbeat song about that uncertain but hopeful feeling when you have a crush. But after that, I have some very different ideas… It will take several months to get started, and it involves attempting to learn electric guitar! In this acoustic album, I tried to process all the dark things that have been on my mind, but it turns out I’m not even close to being finished, and I need to hit it harder… next time it has to be electric. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stand still within a genre or style… and I’m ok with that. I will also keep writing and performing on the banjo too, always.
TSWS: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I work full time as a technical writer, and I spend a lot of time in the summer camping by lakes and going out on my paddleboard with my puppy, Gonzo. He is too smart for his own good and steals everyone’s hearts.
TSWS: Who are you listening to right now?
Chelsea Wolfe, Emma Ruth Rundle, Bauhaus, Rasputina, and I’ve also been getting really into listening to the community radio shows on Radio Boise… particularly discovering more heavy music on Sonic Mushroom Cloud, like We are PIGS, Holy Wars, and Mountain of Smoke. And… I’m gearing up for a summer of going out to lots of local bands in the Boise scene!
TSWS: How do you write your songs? Is it lyrics first or chords?
I almost always start with the lyrics. I’ve been obsessed with words my whole life. I am in awe of musicians who can jam and come out with a mood and story from the music first... Maybe someday I’ll get there, but I get the feel from lyrics, and then I have to work to get the sound right to fit the mood. I always write the music on banjo first, and then add the other instruments.
TSWS: With things getting better, will you be focusing on any live performances?
Yes… but not as much as I thought I would six months ago. I have done a few performances and really enjoyed them, and I have a few more on the books over the summer. But I’ve discovered that I love songwriting and recording so much that I’m making sure to keep enough time to stay in that creative space… time to keep learning and exploring and growing as a musician and a human.
TSWS: Can we expect any music videos soon?
Ha… probably not. I’m pretty shy and I am not in love with cameras… Maybe if I end up in a band again I could handle it…
TSWS: This album feels like a massive undertaking. Is there any advice you;d have for other up and coming artists out there?
Feel the fear and do it anyway. I constantly feel out of my depth. The first six months I was trying to sing, I was so nervous my whole body shook. But every time I pushed through that fear, it got a little better and easier. Every new skill I’ve added to my music has felt that way… can I really do this? I’m not sure… so I’ll just do it anyway. People don't remember your mistakes as much as you think they do.
Also, I try to be around people light years ahead of me musically, and I just try to take in as much as I possibly can. When I feel intimidated, I try to shift my perspective and instead see it as an amazing opportunity to be around people I admire and can learn from.
TSWS: You wake up in the middle of the night starving. What's your go-to midnight snack? (a question of character here)
TSWS: A tin of smoked oysters with Tabasco sauce… not sure what that says about my character???
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to express to fans of the music?
Well… I don’t really see my music as so much of an artist/fan dynamic… It’s more like… I have found a way to explore the complicated and difficult and beautiful parts of life through lyrics and music, and it is so important because emotions that are pushed down always come out anyway, sideways and wrong and hurtful in unhealthy ways. And when I can share emotions with others and there is even a moment of connection and we are dealing with difficult things in a healthy way… I feel truly grateful and alive and that the complicated human experience is worth it. So I guess I would say… thank you for sharing this music with me.