#EventSpeaks: LAUREL @ The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 01/10/18


   

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On Monday 1st October 2018, LAUREL came to Brighton in support of her debut album, Dogviolet (check out our review here). Since her last, solo performance in Brighton, the songwriter returned with a full band to delight her audience with offerings from her recent record. She was supported by Another Sky and her guitarist, Polly Money.


Polly Money

It always amazes me how someone with just an electric guitar and their voice can produce such a big sound but Polly Money certainly achieved this with her performance. Just funky guitar riffs and her sugary-sweet vocal (somewhat similar to that of Leah McFall or NAO), wowed the audience. A very humble performance with some lovely melodies.

Polly Money Instagram


Another Sky

This band truly blew me away (and I believe the rest of the audience too!) – they have an incredibly full-on sound with excellent use of backing tracks as well as their live instruments. Each song of theirs was pretty unique – for example, the opening to their set was ambient and airy whilst their next song brought about a huge wave of excitement due to its intensity and just how tight their performance was. The vocalist’s voice is incredibly diverse, whilst mainly quite low-pitched, is capable of a wide range. The guitarist had some funky little moves too. Another Sky are definitely going to be a band to watch out for, and certainly recommend catching them live!

Highlight: The biggest highlight, was this one note the vocalist did, towards the end of one of their songs; it was so loud, high-pitched and perfect that it was all-consuming. It sent shivers down my back.


LAUREL

Having seen LAUREL play a solo set at The Green Door Store (review here) back in 2016, it was amazing to watch her performing with a full band. Although it was a relatively short set, it was amazing to see her playing songs from Dogviolet, with a full sound.

Some of the best songs were: ‘All Star’ for its wonderful guitar riff; ‘Lovesick’, which is just a catchy track to get the audience going, ‘Sun King’ which was beautifully intimate – just LAUREL with an acoustic guitar and ‘Life Worth Living’ – it’s just a downright tune!

Of course I won’t be the first person to say it, but there are great similarities between LAUREL and Lana Del Rey, however there is something much more vulnerable about LAUREL and it feels like she has more integrity about her.

It was also interesting to find out that she has recently released a book called, The Mutterings of a Laurel, which is a journal she kept during the writing and recording of Dogviolet – definitely worth checking out.

Having seen LAUREL perform twice now, I can assure you that she puts on a show you don’t want to miss. You really need to catch her now before she’s selling out bigger shows, especially since she just filmed her appearance for Later… with Jools Holland the morning of the Brighton show…sounds like the start of something big for this little star.

Highlights:

  • LAUREL is a very humble artist with an endearing awkwardness about her audience interaction, you can’t help but love.
  • The hilarious names she has for her guitars, which her manager proudly embarrassed her by announcing. It’s not my place to share them, but go see her live and you might find them out! 😂
  • Her ability to perform songs with such passion that you are drawn in by her every word – she’s a real star.

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Setlist

All Star
Lovesick
Hold Tight
Sun King (Solo Acoustic)
Same Mistakes
South Coast
Adored
Blue Blood
Life Worth Living*

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


Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Chris (LAUREL’s manager) and Henry (in LAUREL’s PR team) for enabling this review to happen. A big thanks also to Polly Money, Another Sky and LAUREL herself, for putting on such an incredible, intimate show.


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

Muzik Speaks Live Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#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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