After an Introducing piece and EP review of Holy Water in 2014, and a keen eye on the updates since, it was a pleasure to finally see Southampton's Laurel perform live in Glasgow recently.
Whilst the likes of ‘Memorials’ and most of the now London-based musician’s first material seemed to be steeped in haunting pop, her latest EP Park is primarily defined by its guitar-centred sound. Both flavours of music are equally enjoyable however, and allow for some welcome changes in pace when cycling through the back catalogue.
It's slightly surprising however when the earlier sound appears to be temporarily abandoned, as Laurel takes to the stage alone just after 21:00 with a guitar in hand. No synthesisers, no backing band, no unnecessary frills, just a woman and her guitar preparing to deliver a stripped back musical performance.
Showcasing a mere eight tracks, Laurel’s potent vocal dominates the room as it dances hand-in-hand with the gruff and distorted guitar melodies. ‘Too Far’ and ‘Hurricane’ help to advertise that latest EP with ease, whilst a high percentage of unreleased tracks affirm the wealth of material yet to come. ‘Adored’ specifically is stated as her own personal favourite, and the associated emotive delivery helps to secure it as a crowd favourite also.
For a first venture north into Scotland, the crowd is modest in size, but receptive of the entertainment which Laurel provides. The closing track, ‘Life Worth Living’, is well chosen as it’s clearly the most well-known and brings the crowd together for a closing sing and dance of the night.
With her lyrical content laced with themes of love and yearning, it’s certain to strike a chord with those both in and out of love, and with her talented execution Laurel is certain to pick up an abundance of new fans on this initial UK tour. A debut record and a greater spreading of the word will only bring bigger crowds, and I look forward to her hopefully triumphant return to this Scottish city.