Laura Welsh

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Biography

As a child growing up in Staffordshire, Laura Welsh’s musical inspirations combined the three elements that course through her own songwriting, which she is set to ensnare the world with in 2013 – and beyond. Her mother, a singer herself, played records by her beloved Patsy Cline, and other country artists, throughout Laura’s early years. Laura’s sister was passionate about pop, and her own favourites competed with Patsy for airtime in the Welsh household. Laura, meanwhile, discovered Carole King’s seminal Tapestry album, and knew at once that she had found a kindred spirit.
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As a child growing up in Staffordshire, Laura Welsh’s musical inspirations combined the three elements that course through her own songwriting, which she is set to ensnare the world with in 2013 – and beyond. Her mother, a singer herself, played records by her beloved Patsy Cline, and other country artists, throughout Laura’s early years. Laura’s sister was passionate about pop, and her own favourites competed with Patsy for airtime in the Welsh household. Laura, meanwhile, discovered Carole King’s seminal Tapestry album, and knew at once that she had found a kindred spirit.
Bottle the essence of those genres – Patsy burrowing down into the heart of a song, with vocal performances that maxed on haunting, less-is-more restraint; the directness and sugar-rush immediacy of classic pop; and Tapestry’s utter musical and lyrical simplicity and honesty – and you pretty much have the music of Laura Welsh. She’s not afraid of big hooks – or big singing, either. When she wants to, Laura can open her lungs and blaze forth with a vocal that could power the national grid. Yet her chief calling card is her ability to hold back, to sing lyrics of often startling candour in a voice that opts not for the acrobatics and default wall-of-sound approach favoured by so many of her contemporaries, but instead comes across as confiding, confessional. At these moments, it is as if Laura is letting the listener in on her private, innermost feelings – and the effect is overwhelming.
Laura pinpoints the precise moment when she realised that singing was going to mean more to her than simply hollering along to the radio, posing in the mirror, hairbrush in hand. “When I was 10, my mum was performing in this club in our local town, and she got me up on stage. I was incredibly shy, but I went up there and sang this Patsy Cline song, and that was the moment I thought, ‘Whoa’.” That remark may conjure up an image of a precocious child, brimming with confidence, but Laura’s battles with self-doubt have always been protracted and, even in victory, hard-won. Listen to Ghosts, the song she posted online last year, which generated an immediate buzz. “I will lay these ghosts to rest,” she sings. “They’re faceless and headstrong. I won’t let them take me.”
Consider, too, Laura’s reaction to her very first exposure to the life of an aspiring musician and performer, with Laura and the Tears, the band she formed in London in her final year of college. Her next move when the group disbanded was a brave one – she simply withdrew from the heat and the hubbub, and gave herself the space and time to do some hard thinking. “The best decision I made was not to do anything for a year. That might sound strange, but it changed everything. I literally shut the door – I didn’t play any gigs, I completely withdrew. It gave me time to think back on the music I’d been making before, and realise that I had to learn to trust my gut, had to ask myself the only question that was important, which was, ‘What music do I want to make?’. And stepping back helped me find the answer to that.” She had seen the alternative, and instinctively knew it wasn’t for her. ““The whole concentration now is on leading your life in public, and for singers that means constantly updating people on what you’re doing. But what about the music, what about the idea that you lie low and concentrate instead on writing songs? Another benefit is that you don’t have to carry the weight of opinion – you’re unaccountable, and that allows you to be really clear about what you’re doing.”
Laura wasn’t short of helping hands during those 12 months of downtime, working with a group of people who shared her determination to bring her songs to the fore, and ignore everything else. She worked on Ghosts with Johnny Rockstar (Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse), and with John Legend on the heart-stopping The Hardest Part. Former Test Icicle, Blood Orange main man and all-round musical polymath Dev Hynes hunkered down in the studio with Laura last Christmas, and the result was the mournful but ultimately defiant Unravel (with its unambiguous lyric: “No matter what you do wrong / I put your needs before mine”). Robin Hannibal – whose latest musical incarnation as Rhye has won ecstatic reviews this year – was Laura’s partner-in-crime on a clutch of songs that will feature on her debut album, including the sublime Cold Front. And the triumvirate of Scissor Sisters’ Babydaddy, the Rolling Stones/Lane del Rey/Eminem/A$AP Rocky producer Emile Haynie and the redoubtable, Amanda Ghost worked with Laura to bring to life songs such as the incandescent Break the Fall (“I want to love you but I’m just too cynical”) and the explosive, timpani-pocked, strings-driven God Keeps Laughing, with its central refrain: “No release, no release from the sound in my head.”
So, has Laura found that release now, with a set of such powerful, uncompromising songs under her belt? Look back at that list of collaborators and you’ll notice they have one thing in common: they’re all mavericks, all artists for whom the music is what matters, and to whom everything else is a distraction. The same is true of Laura. She did half measures once, she says, and she isn’t going to make that mistake again. It’s the real thing this time, or nothing at all. “If you just walked in and went, ‘I know what my sound is’,” Laura reflects, “you’d miss out on the lessons that false starts teach you. You’re getting to know yourself, and learning to trust your instincts. I don’t hold back in saying what I think – but that’s because I want this record to be the best it can be. I’ve had the learning curve of working with people and being too willing to compromise. You know in your heart when it’s not right, just as you know when it is. And now, I’m in this place where there is no compromise at all.”
Laura says, everyone she worked with provided her with stepping stones towards making a reality of the music she had always heard in her head, from as far back as those holler-along teenage days in Staffordshire. “To work with a really small group of wonderful people who I completely trusted was a life-changer. Sitting there with an acoustic guitar, and just letting whatever came out come out – that’s when I thought, ‘This is what I want to do’. I’ve grown as a writer, and it was good for me to finally acknowledge, ‘I can’t really talk about this, but I can sing about it’.”
Oh, she can sing all right. Songs of heartache and renewal, of doubt and affirmation, delivered in a voice that, by hinting at emotions rather than battering you round the head with them, proves doubly devastating. Prepare to have your mind blown, and your heart broken. No half-measures, no compromise. Opening the door, stepping out into the world again, Laura Welsh is ready for anything, and unmistakably for real.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

As a child growing up in Staffordshire, Laura Welsh’s musical inspirations combined the three elements that course through her own songwriting, which she is set to ensnare the world with in 2013 – and beyond. Her mother, a singer herself, played records by her beloved Patsy Cline, and other country artists, throughout Laura’s early years. Laura’s sister was passionate about pop, and her own favourites competed with Patsy for airtime in the Welsh household. Laura, meanwhile, discovered Carole King’s seminal Tapestry album, and knew at once that she had found a kindred spirit.
Bottle the essence of those genres – Patsy burrowing down into the heart of a song, with vocal performances that maxed on haunting, less-is-more restraint; the directness and sugar-rush immediacy of classic pop; and Tapestry’s utter musical and lyrical simplicity and honesty – and you pretty much have the music of Laura Welsh. She’s not afraid of big hooks – or big singing, either. When she wants to, Laura can open her lungs and blaze forth with a vocal that could power the national grid. Yet her chief calling card is her ability to hold back, to sing lyrics of often startling candour in a voice that opts not for the acrobatics and default wall-of-sound approach favoured by so many of her contemporaries, but instead comes across as confiding, confessional. At these moments, it is as if Laura is letting the listener in on her private, innermost feelings – and the effect is overwhelming.
Laura pinpoints the precise moment when she realised that singing was going to mean more to her than simply hollering along to the radio, posing in the mirror, hairbrush in hand. “When I was 10, my mum was performing in this club in our local town, and she got me up on stage. I was incredibly shy, but I went up there and sang this Patsy Cline song, and that was the moment I thought, ‘Whoa’.” That remark may conjure up an image of a precocious child, brimming with confidence, but Laura’s battles with self-doubt have always been protracted and, even in victory, hard-won. Listen to Ghosts, the song she posted online last year, which generated an immediate buzz. “I will lay these ghosts to rest,” she sings. “They’re faceless and headstrong. I won’t let them take me.”
Consider, too, Laura’s reaction to her very first exposure to the life of an aspiring musician and performer, with Laura and the Tears, the band she formed in London in her final year of college. Her next move when the group disbanded was a brave one – she simply withdrew from the heat and the hubbub, and gave herself the space and time to do some hard thinking. “The best decision I made was not to do anything for a year. That might sound strange, but it changed everything. I literally shut the door – I didn’t play any gigs, I completely withdrew. It gave me time to think back on the music I’d been making before, and realise that I had to learn to trust my gut, had to ask myself the only question that was important, which was, ‘What music do I want to make?’. And stepping back helped me find the answer to that.” She had seen the alternative, and instinctively knew it wasn’t for her. ““The whole concentration now is on leading your life in public, and for singers that means constantly updating people on what you’re doing. But what about the music, what about the idea that you lie low and concentrate instead on writing songs? Another benefit is that you don’t have to carry the weight of opinion – you’re unaccountable, and that allows you to be really clear about what you’re doing.”
Laura wasn’t short of helping hands during those 12 months of downtime, working with a group of people who shared her determination to bring her songs to the fore, and ignore everything else. She worked on Ghosts with Johnny Rockstar (Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse), and with John Legend on the heart-stopping The Hardest Part. Former Test Icicle, Blood Orange main man and all-round musical polymath Dev Hynes hunkered down in the studio with Laura last Christmas, and the result was the mournful but ultimately defiant Unravel (with its unambiguous lyric: “No matter what you do wrong / I put your needs before mine”). Robin Hannibal – whose latest musical incarnation as Rhye has won ecstatic reviews this year – was Laura’s partner-in-crime on a clutch of songs that will feature on her debut album, including the sublime Cold Front. And the triumvirate of Scissor Sisters’ Babydaddy, the Rolling Stones/Lane del Rey/Eminem/A$AP Rocky producer Emile Haynie and the redoubtable, Amanda Ghost worked with Laura to bring to life songs such as the incandescent Break the Fall (“I want to love you but I’m just too cynical”) and the explosive, timpani-pocked, strings-driven God Keeps Laughing, with its central refrain: “No release, no release from the sound in my head.”
So, has Laura found that release now, with a set of such powerful, uncompromising songs under her belt? Look back at that list of collaborators and you’ll notice they have one thing in common: they’re all mavericks, all artists for whom the music is what matters, and to whom everything else is a distraction. The same is true of Laura. She did half measures once, she says, and she isn’t going to make that mistake again. It’s the real thing this time, or nothing at all. “If you just walked in and went, ‘I know what my sound is’,” Laura reflects, “you’d miss out on the lessons that false starts teach you. You’re getting to know yourself, and learning to trust your instincts. I don’t hold back in saying what I think – but that’s because I want this record to be the best it can be. I’ve had the learning curve of working with people and being too willing to compromise. You know in your heart when it’s not right, just as you know when it is. And now, I’m in this place where there is no compromise at all.”
Laura says, everyone she worked with provided her with stepping stones towards making a reality of the music she had always heard in her head, from as far back as those holler-along teenage days in Staffordshire. “To work with a really small group of wonderful people who I completely trusted was a life-changer. Sitting there with an acoustic guitar, and just letting whatever came out come out – that’s when I thought, ‘This is what I want to do’. I’ve grown as a writer, and it was good for me to finally acknowledge, ‘I can’t really talk about this, but I can sing about it’.”
Oh, she can sing all right. Songs of heartache and renewal, of doubt and affirmation, delivered in a voice that, by hinting at emotions rather than battering you round the head with them, proves doubly devastating. Prepare to have your mind blown, and your heart broken. No half-measures, no compromise. Opening the door, stepping out into the world again, Laura Welsh is ready for anything, and unmistakably for real.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

As a child growing up in Staffordshire, Laura Welsh’s musical inspirations combined the three elements that course through her own songwriting, which she is set to ensnare the world with in 2013 – and beyond. Her mother, a singer herself, played records by her beloved Patsy Cline, and other country artists, throughout Laura’s early years. Laura’s sister was passionate about pop, and her own favourites competed with Patsy for airtime in the Welsh household. Laura, meanwhile, discovered Carole King’s seminal Tapestry album, and knew at once that she had found a kindred spirit.
Bottle the essence of those genres – Patsy burrowing down into the heart of a song, with vocal performances that maxed on haunting, less-is-more restraint; the directness and sugar-rush immediacy of classic pop; and Tapestry’s utter musical and lyrical simplicity and honesty – and you pretty much have the music of Laura Welsh. She’s not afraid of big hooks – or big singing, either. When she wants to, Laura can open her lungs and blaze forth with a vocal that could power the national grid. Yet her chief calling card is her ability to hold back, to sing lyrics of often startling candour in a voice that opts not for the acrobatics and default wall-of-sound approach favoured by so many of her contemporaries, but instead comes across as confiding, confessional. At these moments, it is as if Laura is letting the listener in on her private, innermost feelings – and the effect is overwhelming.
Laura pinpoints the precise moment when she realised that singing was going to mean more to her than simply hollering along to the radio, posing in the mirror, hairbrush in hand. “When I was 10, my mum was performing in this club in our local town, and she got me up on stage. I was incredibly shy, but I went up there and sang this Patsy Cline song, and that was the moment I thought, ‘Whoa’.” That remark may conjure up an image of a precocious child, brimming with confidence, but Laura’s battles with self-doubt have always been protracted and, even in victory, hard-won. Listen to Ghosts, the song she posted online last year, which generated an immediate buzz. “I will lay these ghosts to rest,” she sings. “They’re faceless and headstrong. I won’t let them take me.”
Consider, too, Laura’s reaction to her very first exposure to the life of an aspiring musician and performer, with Laura and the Tears, the band she formed in London in her final year of college. Her next move when the group disbanded was a brave one – she simply withdrew from the heat and the hubbub, and gave herself the space and time to do some hard thinking. “The best decision I made was not to do anything for a year. That might sound strange, but it changed everything. I literally shut the door – I didn’t play any gigs, I completely withdrew. It gave me time to think back on the music I’d been making before, and realise that I had to learn to trust my gut, had to ask myself the only question that was important, which was, ‘What music do I want to make?’. And stepping back helped me find the answer to that.” She had seen the alternative, and instinctively knew it wasn’t for her. ““The whole concentration now is on leading your life in public, and for singers that means constantly updating people on what you’re doing. But what about the music, what about the idea that you lie low and concentrate instead on writing songs? Another benefit is that you don’t have to carry the weight of opinion – you’re unaccountable, and that allows you to be really clear about what you’re doing.”
Laura wasn’t short of helping hands during those 12 months of downtime, working with a group of people who shared her determination to bring her songs to the fore, and ignore everything else. She worked on Ghosts with Johnny Rockstar (Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse), and with John Legend on the heart-stopping The Hardest Part. Former Test Icicle, Blood Orange main man and all-round musical polymath Dev Hynes hunkered down in the studio with Laura last Christmas, and the result was the mournful but ultimately defiant Unravel (with its unambiguous lyric: “No matter what you do wrong / I put your needs before mine”). Robin Hannibal – whose latest musical incarnation as Rhye has won ecstatic reviews this year – was Laura’s partner-in-crime on a clutch of songs that will feature on her debut album, including the sublime Cold Front. And the triumvirate of Scissor Sisters’ Babydaddy, the Rolling Stones/Lane del Rey/Eminem/A$AP Rocky producer Emile Haynie and the redoubtable, Amanda Ghost worked with Laura to bring to life songs such as the incandescent Break the Fall (“I want to love you but I’m just too cynical”) and the explosive, timpani-pocked, strings-driven God Keeps Laughing, with its central refrain: “No release, no release from the sound in my head.”
So, has Laura found that release now, with a set of such powerful, uncompromising songs under her belt? Look back at that list of collaborators and you’ll notice they have one thing in common: they’re all mavericks, all artists for whom the music is what matters, and to whom everything else is a distraction. The same is true of Laura. She did half measures once, she says, and she isn’t going to make that mistake again. It’s the real thing this time, or nothing at all. “If you just walked in and went, ‘I know what my sound is’,” Laura reflects, “you’d miss out on the lessons that false starts teach you. You’re getting to know yourself, and learning to trust your instincts. I don’t hold back in saying what I think – but that’s because I want this record to be the best it can be. I’ve had the learning curve of working with people and being too willing to compromise. You know in your heart when it’s not right, just as you know when it is. And now, I’m in this place where there is no compromise at all.”
Laura says, everyone she worked with provided her with stepping stones towards making a reality of the music she had always heard in her head, from as far back as those holler-along teenage days in Staffordshire. “To work with a really small group of wonderful people who I completely trusted was a life-changer. Sitting there with an acoustic guitar, and just letting whatever came out come out – that’s when I thought, ‘This is what I want to do’. I’ve grown as a writer, and it was good for me to finally acknowledge, ‘I can’t really talk about this, but I can sing about it’.”
Oh, she can sing all right. Songs of heartache and renewal, of doubt and affirmation, delivered in a voice that, by hinting at emotions rather than battering you round the head with them, proves doubly devastating. Prepare to have your mind blown, and your heart broken. No half-measures, no compromise. Opening the door, stepping out into the world again, Laura Welsh is ready for anything, and unmistakably for real.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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