Over the last few years, singer-songwriter Gianna Lauren gave her new release Moving Parts seven different names and reordered the tracklist 20 different times. When it’s released on April 28 it will be in the original order with the original title.
“I guess even though I overthink things I don’t want to be an overthinker,” Lauren says during a break from Flourish Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
“I like that this is a time capsule.”
Her previous release, On Personhood, came together in five days. This one took years with Lauren gathering band members J.J. Ipsen (Hayden, J.J. Ipsen and the Paper Crown), Justin Nace (Andy Shauf, The Wooden Sky, Jenn Grant), and Marshall Bureau (Jill Barber, Great Lake Swimmers) at different times in three studios in two provinces.
Lauren took us through the album, track-by-track, before its release on April 28 via Forward Music Group.
“One of my favourite tracks which is why it’s first. Windows came out on a cassette tape in November 2015 around a little tour. That might have been a defining tour as bandmates because a lot had changed in our lives. We go back out on the road and things were different,” says Lauren.
Normally, Lauren brings the songs to the studio and the band works together to develop them. Twilight was born in the studio, and the lyrics unfolded from the back of her mind. They’re based on a Dawn Landes song she got on a mixtape from a patron when she worked at the Manx pub in Ottawa around 9 years ago.
“It’s interesting how the brain works,” she says, “For whatever reason, this song which as been in my mind for nine years, all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh here’s the place for that.’”
Death & Beauty
“It’s about my sometimes struggle with the fashion industry. I love fashion, I love clothing, textiles, whatever. Makeup. Hair. I have fun with all this stuff but sometimes I feel stress. So a lot of the lyrics are inspired by being a woman, feeling certain desires or pressure even or encouragement to participate in an industry that dictates so much of what being a woman means. Especially being a woman on stage, I feel a certain pressure to put on a certain face or put on a certain look.”
“I have a relationship with Fredericton, N.B.,” said Lauren. Tricks was about a letter from a Frederictonian pen pal.
“Specifically about one letter that was written to me that was so terrifying, and I felt helpless being far away because it came from such a place of fear for them. And I felt helpless being where I was and wanted to do more than just write a letter back.”
Take it Slow
This song was recorded on Halloween in Lake Echo, N.S., at Daniel Ledwell’s studio, just after Lauren received news a mentor had been killed while jogging by a drunk driver.
“This song is heavy and I didn’t think I could even go through with recording it,” she says. But with the band all in town and the studio paid for, the recording took place.
“I just had to forge ahead. And it felt like a safe space. These are some of the people who have known me the best, so it felt safe, in the end.”
Give it up
“Feels like a good highway song. It’s very rhythmic and has sort of soaring features to it, which makes me think it would be a nice thing to listen to when you’re soaring, driving down the highway.”
“This song was the first song we released from this collection of recordings,” says Lauren of the track inspired by the Beatles.
“It’s so unlike anything else that I’ve ever put out before that we were curious about the feedback. It gave me some confidence to put the songs out and keep recording.”
Will You Come
“This is a bit of a love song and I don’t write love songs. Maybe I do but they’re disguised as other things. But in terms of a love song as a show of an affection toward another human. It’s a romantic song whereas some other songs may romanticize certain things.”
“Innkeeper is such a disaster of a song. Complete randomness. Complete studio, unplanned delirium.
It’s a bit of a mindfuck and it’s hard to play because there’s three different tempos going on. It again was one of those organic sort of things that just sort of happened and then we stepped away from it and decided not to touch that anymore. We went nitty gritty with the vocal effect and it sounds kinda spacey and demonic at times.”
“It was inspired by my dad who has always wanted me to write a country song,” Lauren says.
She put her own twist on the genre’s focus on struggles and made it about a modern problem: an oil spill.
Photo and interview by Evelyn Hornbeck.