Raised in rural Flanders in the north of France, Lauren Guillery grew up to be an independent young person whose father’s appreciation for rockabilly and surf rock helped shape her love for music. A self-taught musician, Lauren immersed herself listening to Sonic Youth, Nirvana and riot grrrl bands as a teenager – a soundtrack that would become the basis for her songwriting in later years.
Armed with a red guitar and an unstoppable attitude, she relocated to Ireland in early 2000 and powered her way through the open-mic circuit and onto the stages of some of Ireland’s most prestigious clubs. Her performances are full of confidence as she delivers her songs with an ‘I dare you’ stare as she hammers away at her guitar. Her voice is instantly arresting, a blend of Tori Amos and Kate Bush but with a built-in rock snarl that demands you stop and listen. Her debut four-track EP ‘Listen!’ was launched in 2007 and delivered insidious melodies, building rock crescendos and raw passion.
Lauren was awarded ‘Best International’ at the inaugural Balcony TV awards and toured Ireland with rhythm section The Claws (Barry O'Donovan and Paddy Mulreid) opening for Norwegian post-punk outfit Ungdomskulen and Irish post rockers God Is An Astronaut. With a fiery guitar sound reminiscent of early 90’s grunge era, chunky bass lines and steadfast drumming, The Claws’ live performances were delivered with such intensity, rawness and arse-kicking that front woman Lauren Guillery was compared to a ‘rock queen’ and ‘rock goddess’ by gig promoters and punters alike.
Recorded in two locations in county Leinster, ‘Disaster in La La Land’ affirms Guillery’s first rate songwriting and producing abilities, and the punk and blues influences already present in ‘Listen!’. With a big sound that draws comparisons with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and some early PJ Harvey material, the album was co-produced by Stephen Shannon in Dublin’s inner city studio Experimental Audio, and blends upbeat songs with darker, heavier sounding numbers. Lauren’s guitar riffs and licks remind us that surf rock and Chicago blues didn’t happen that long ago, yet a grungy, darker vibe runs throughout the album. Frustrations, strange encounters and party times are inherent to the album as are disclosures of abuse, rejections and self-doubt. With dreamy saxophones by Ewa Gigon and synths arranged by Stephen Shannon, Lauren’s voice and harmonies round up the package and bring the catchy lyrics home.
A fun and thought-out album, ‘Disaster In La La Land’ was self-funded and recorded using two different rhythm sections and studios. At The Green Room - a coastal studio in Greystones an hour’s drive from Dublin, Anthony d’Arcy’s fast-paced, dancey drumming combined with Shane Murphy’s disco bass lines provide a quirky pop-rock, up-tempo element. The bass and drums tracks were recorded there with engineer Colin J. Morris behind the desk, as were some of the vocals. The second half of the recording took place in Experimental Audio with Brian O’Higgins on drums and Phil Daly on bass providing a more punk, bass-driven outlook. The rhythm section was recorded with Stephen Shannon over two days as were the remainder of the vocals, and the guitar sessions and saxophone were done with Lauren’s long-time esteemed friend and collaborator Peter Sisk over a number of weekends.
Swaying between pop and punk, ‘Disaster In La La Land’ is a musically uplifting album that recounts stories of Lauren Guillery’s life in Ireland’s capital city of Dublin where she lived for fifteen years before moving in the more rural south-west of the island.
‘Deliciously grungy’ – LECOOL
‘Very fresh and exciting’ – HOTPRESS
‘Absolutely excellent’ - GOLDENPLEC
|31 May 2018||21:00||Cyprus Avenue, Cork||Supporting the Hot Sprockets||Buy Tickets|