#Review: LAUREL – DOGVIOLET


   

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LAUREL (aka Laurel Arnell-Cullen) is a British indie musician originating from London. She has had a string of critically acclaimed songs since posting her first demo back in 2013 and gained a lot of bloggers’ and radio DJs’ attention for writing, recording and producing most of her early music in her bedroom studio. Since signing to Counter Records (a division of Ninja Tune Records) in August 2016, she has released an EP and headlined her own UK tour. Now, 2018 sees the singer and songwriter releasing her debut album, DOGVIOLET. Here are are thoughts on the record…

Laurel - Dogviolet.jpg

LAUREL is finally releasing her debut album, DOGVIOLET and it’s a real corker! From the moment it opens with the catchy ‘Life Worth Living’ which bursts into life with its heavy drums, we are taken on a personal journey through LAUREL‘s heart and mind.

Some of the other tracks that really stand out are: ‘All Star’ has a really unique guitar line to it and it’s about putting a partner on a pedestal; ‘Hold Tight’ which has some relaxing, summer-by-the-beach vibes about being close to someone; ‘Adored’ for its slightly more grungy sound; ‘Crave’ which builds to a rather haunting chorus and ‘Take It Back’ for its very different and incredibly catchy chorus that lies somewhere along the lines of HAIM and MUNA.

‘Empty Kisses’ is a beautifully melancholic track too about a relationship that’s essentially over and the passion’s gone.

There’s something beautiful about the occasional cracks in her voice – it’s stunningly imperfect.

Undoubtedly, comparisons could be made with the likes of Lana Del Rey or Florence Welch due to her ethereal vocals and melancholic tones but there’s something beautiful about the occasional cracks in her voice too – it’s stunningly imperfect.

The production is artistic and evokes imagery of an artistic independent film; it certainly serves as a soundtrack to this period in her life, with real, introspective lyricism and reflection that must have taken her to some deep, dark places in her memories. This is surely the start of a wonderful career ahead – with her intensely mesmerising vocals and remarkably honest and personal writing style that certainly stands her out from so many others right now. This year is certainly going to be a big one for LAUREL and I can’t wait to see where it takes her next.

Rating
4


‘Dogviolet’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dogviolet/1373664343


Dogviolet on Spotify

Coming soon.

Same Mistakes (Official Video)

Life Worth Living (Official Audio)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of LAUREL’s debut album, DOGVIOLET? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or chat to us about it via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#EventSpeaks: Laurel @ The Green Door Store, Brighton – 24/11/16


   

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On Thursday 24th November 2016, Laurel arrived in Brighton, as part of her first headline tour. She was supported by bands Honey Moon and Blush.


Blush

This band’s sound would’ve fit well as the soundtrack to an indie film or one of the original teen movies, like 10 Things I Hate About You. The sound was atmospheric and filled with interesting instrumentation between bursts of vocals. The singer’s voice was light and almost didn’t fit with the songs, but it actually works really well – it really stands out! Good band but a little static on stage.

blush


Honey Moon

Honey Moon are a self-described psychedelic croon pop band who are reminiscent of an original brit-pop band merged with crooner rock. The singer’s voice was entralling and showed off a dynamic range. I liked his occasional hand gestures too. The band’s sound was euphoric and so big that it would’ve fit perfectly in a stadium – you could just picture them in an arena. The bassist’s facial expressions were interesting – like he’d taken a leaf out of Jack Black’s ‘School Of Rock’ book; quite amusing!

Highlight: The band was atmospheric and had the crowd captivated by their unique sound and the singer’s powerful, crooning vocals.

honey-moon


Laurel

Laurel was utterly amazing; I found myself completely sucked in by her performance. Each song told a story with her well-crafted lyrics and was filled with personality and raw emotion.

Considering she was unaccompanied by a band, her songs still sounded full and she had the audience in the palm of her hand. There was an innocence about her performance too; she told us how she was recommended not to wear a jumper on stage but ignored the advice to look cool and was regretting it so had to remove it; it was highly amusing.

Her voice and song style is fairly similar to the likes of Lana Del Rey but with its own originality to it; I actually preferred it to Lana‘s sound.

If you haven’t already had the opportunity to see Laurel perform, I highly recommend it – you will not be disappointed at all!

Highlights:

  • Laurel‘s between-songs chat was very witty and filled with an endearing vulnerability.
  • Her voice is superb; the sheer power and range of it is excellent and the slight cracks in it are perfection!
  • The lyrics and meanings behind each song are captivating and personal.
  • The simplicity of the performance (without a band) actually enhanced it and showed off her talents brilliantly.
  • After the show, Laurel took the time to meet with her fans, take pictures and sign LPs; great fan interaction!

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 Setlist

Too Far
Killing Time
Hurricane
Adored
Goodbye
All Star
Disturb The Claim
San Francisco
Life Worth Living*

This song performance can be viewed in the YouTube video, below.


Finally, I want to say an absolutely HUGE thanks to Chris for setting up this review and interview with Laurel, and of course Laurel herself for having me at her show and taking the time to chat to me.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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