“I can’t hold back anymore. What I write is my truth and an extension of myself. I’ve finally come to terms with who I am,” says singer-songwriter Lauren Waller, a captivating artist who exudes a darkly glamorous soulfulness.
Lauren’s artist arc has been profound. She’s journeyed from shackling shyness as a teen, stealthily writing songs, singing, and performing in private, unbeknownst to her family, to morphing into an indie pop siren with a sleek and sensual pop sensibility. Her latest EP is the high watermark release, no names here, a stunning collection of cinematic pop songs.
“It’s been sort of shocking how much I’ve changed once I started writing my own music. It helped me discover who I am as a performer and as a person,” Lauren shares.
The Los Angeles-based artist bridges the divide between 1980s dark wave and modern electro-textured indie pop. Her aesthetic also encompasses the jagged artiness of alternative rock, embers of the smoldering expressiveness of R&B, the confessional and poetic intimacy of the singer-songwriter idiom, and the thrilling satisfaction of modern pop. Her soulful pop has earned her favorable comparisons to Lorde, Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles, Adele, and Ingrid Michaelson. To date, Lauren has released two EPs, and garnered press accolades from New Music Express, Young Hollywood, A&R Worldwide, Music Existence, Coming Up Magazine, The Spotlight, All Access Music, and Broadway World, among other outlets. Select performance highlights from Lauren’s resume include performing on RTE, Ireland’s National Television, at the International Rose of Tralee Festival, and appearances at the iconic Viper Room and the esteemed tastemaking club The Hotel Café.
Lauren grew up in a supportive creative environment. Her father was a hobbyist rock musician with an actively gigging band, but Lauren was fiercely private about her music, exploring it outside the house and clandestinely in her room. At 17, however, Lauren made this private journey public and began performing with her father’s band, opening for established artists such as Helen Reddy, the Fixx, and Berlin, feat Terri Nunn. A year later, Lauren went from performing cover songs to penning the original material that would appear on her debut EP. She continued to write music while attending Pepperdine University where she explored her range of artistic talents, studying stage-management and working on numerous plays.
Her latest EP—her second overall— no names here, blurs the line between the observational and the personal. “People in my circle kept asking who the songs were about, but it doesn’t matter who they are about. I wanted the songs to speak for themselves so people can project their own perceptions on them,” she says, explaining the EP’s cryptic title. Themes of relationships course through the five-song EP, and, in tone and lyrical content, Lauren expresses raw truths without feeling the need to tilt narratives in the way of happy endings.
no names here is rife with stunning songs that whisk the listener away to sensual sonic hemispheres replete with dizzying sensual vocals, undeniable pop hooks, and sleek electro-tinged atmospherics. First stop on the EP is “Secret Garden,” which pulls you into a private paradise of forbidden longing that exists between reality and surreality. On the future hit “What If” Lauren mulls over a relationship’s demise with burning yearning emotionality accompanied sparsely by gorgeously melancholic piano figures and haunting textures. The track’s chorus showcases the breathtaking skyward sweep of Lauren’s richly emotive vocals.
The EP concludes with the sweetly sinister, “Down,” which is destined to be a retro-futuristic dark wave classic. “That song is about how life can be so overwhelming with mind games, voices in your head, and heartbreak. It’s about questioning everything, yourself and the people around you,” Lauren says.
Up next, Lauren will return to the stage to perform her own music. No longer the shy girl, she’s embracing this enlightened era with confidence and swagger. “When I was younger, putting out my thoughts in the world would be really scary,” she affirms. “But I know who I am now. I feel like a different person, and I’m ready to be vulnerable and share my music.”