"Sometimes you're looking forward to spending Christmas with someone, but unfortunately you can't. All you have are memories, whether good or bad. Singer/songwriter, Louise Warren, brings us a lovely Christmas original, with lyrics "but I won't make a cameo in your Christmas memories." I love Louise's voice, definitely looking forward to more from her!"
-Nicole Juliette Hetlyn
Concert Crap: Your gearing up to release your new song “In The Dark”, can you talk about the creation of and the meaning behind the song?
Louise Warren: I recorded this song with my friend, Sean Williams – who is a brilliant indie musician under the name Sean Solo. It was one of my favorite studio environments. We were literally in his basement, shoes off, and laughing the whole time. As we were working on “In the Dark”, his little sister (who I adore) came downstairs to listen. She got this spark in her eyes and went over to the light switch and cut it off. Sean was nervous I would mind but we left it that way the rest of the session. We just had a lot of fun making my album, Lavender Sound. That is my greatest desire for any creative process- that I enjoy the journey of it.
The song “In the Dark” was written during a time where my life held a lot of uncertainty. I was in that place where your heart is a bit too raw from putting it in the wrong hands. It was my way of sorting through the emotional wreckage after someone disappoints you. Every song on Lavender Sound has an almost zen-like theme of acceptance to it. “In the Dark” is me making peace with the unknown of love and the unknown of life. When I say “My songs are somewhere all written down – but I don’t wanna know them”, I mean to say if my future is planned, I’d rather go in blind so I can appreciate where I am now. The second you know the end of the story, it changes how you read all of the individual chapters.
CC: I was reading your bio and it sounds like you’ve been playing / writing music since you were young, which is really awesome! Did you get into music on your own or do you have a musical family?
LW: Thank you so much! 🙂
Well, my entirely family loves music but not all of us are music creators. I grew up with my lullabies being songs my mom made up for me because she got tired of singing the “real” ones. She would never claim being a writer but that’s exactly what she is. I was writing from a very early age and I strongly believe that’s at least partly due to the fact that I watched and listened to someone doing it. I would spend hours outside swinging and writing songs – very much in my head but loving every second of it.
My Dad played guitar very well but didn’t pick it back up until I started learning at 14. At that point, we were both hooked and listening through each other’s doors for what the other was writing or working on. He started writing instrumentals during this time that were jazzy and amazing!
When I started performing live, my entire family came along. A fact that didn’t give me the “rockstar” glow but made me feel incredibly luck, loved and supported. My family can make my entire day by coming to a gig.
CC: Who are some people that influence your music?
LW: Well both of my parents took it upon themselves to expose me to good music. My Dad ensured I knew Steve Vai and my mom lit up every time an Elvis song came on.
My greatest influences change all the time depending on the sound I’m going for but I always love Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles, Fiona Apple, and Jason Isbell.
CC: What does it mean to you to be able to share your music with people across the country?
LW: When I write a song, it’s like a spark is lit inside of me that illuminates everything. It’s as though I am taking a step back and looking at everything from an eagle eye perspective. I still FEEL it like I’m in it but I gain clarity.
When I share that, it’s like looking up and that spark is lit for everyone else. They are all around me holding their candle too saying “yes, we are all human and in this together”. Even if it’s just one person, it’s like we are seeing each other in the raw truth of our experiences and feelings. So it means connection and acceptance.
CC: What are some bands or artists that you’ve been listening to lately?
LW: Ben Folds because I got to see him live in Macon and he is just pure genius. Rag’n’Bone Man because I love soulful voices. Also been revisiting lots of Civil Wars and Joni Mitchell lately.
CC: Any plans for the rest of 2017?
LW: I’m recording an EP with Reel 2 Reel Studios for the Macy Easom Cancer Research Foundation. I won their Music 4 Macy Songwriting Competition last year and I’m SO excited to get back in the studio.
I’m also planning a lot of visits singing at the Children’s Hospital in Macon as part of the Songs 4 Kids.
After the holidays, it will be a lot of gigging for my debut full-length, Lavender Sound.
Watch the music video for “In The Dark“
Post and interview by Madeline Cronin
By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn
“MUSIC IS MY MORNING COFFEE, THERAPIST, AND BEST FRIEND.” - LOUISE WARREN
You are no stranger to songwriting, you have been doing this for several years. When did you realize that this was something that you truly wanted to pursue? What’s your typical songwriting process like?
My favorite thing to do as a child was to swing on the playground and write music. I would sing other people's songs until I ran out of them and then would write one of my own. My inner world was very much my version of play.
I'm usually a melody first person. To me, it's the foundation of the song. The lyrics are what make a house a home, but it cannot exist without the melody first. I might sit down with my guitar and sing a few notes or sometimes even wake to an idea. Once I have the idea, I almost always write it in the order that you hear it. A goal of mine is to learn how to break that process, though, and start with lyrics first!
You just released a lyric video for “In The Dark.” We love this song! What was your inspiration behind writing this song?
Thank you so much! The song was inspired by the role 'the unknown' played in my life during my early twenties, particularly in love. I had reached a point, like most people do in dating, where I was fed up. What I wanted was to know what would happen, not even just with the person I was speaking to in the song but on a greater scale - that I would live the life I wanted to. This song was my way of coming to terms with not knowing and looking my fears dead in the eye.
In July, you released your debut album, Lavender Sound. What is the overall concept/theme of this album?
Scent is a huge trigger for memory, and so is music. When I wrote Lavender Sound, I was making peace with the broken pieces of my past and choosing to use those pieces to form a more beautiful present- like a mosaic. It was me processing what I didn't receive from a situation - that partner or opportunity- and choosing to look at my life for the lessons learned. I found intense joy in who I was becoming and what I was creating. Lavender essential oils have always been wonderfully calming to me. It was the best way, alongside songwriting, to self soothe during a period of tremendous transformation! Now, both these songs and that scent, hold so much more meaning.
As a young artist, you have already shared the stage with some very astonishing artists (Chuck Leavell or Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hall, Shawn Mullins). If you could tour with any artist, who would you tour with?
Arctic Monkeys! They have been one of my favorite bands since I was 16 years old for the sheer poetry of Alex Turner's lyrics and for not taking the easy way out, musically. They are all really creative! I would probably bug them with how many songwriting questions I asked.
What is something that you want your audience to know about you as an artist? When people leave your show, what message do you want them to go away with knowing?
I think more than anything I want to create a safe space to bear my soul and to allow them to bear theirs. Life can be lived walking around with the weight of what we feel, but there is lightness in expressing and releasing it. Sharing that experience reminds us that we are all human and in this together.
You will be part of the Women with Purpose Festival. Can you tell us more about this?
I was approached by a fellow female musician in Macon, SaVana Cameron. She wanted to create a show that put a spotlight on all the music-making women in our area, while also doing something good to benefit our local Crisis Line and Safe house that helps victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. I was ALL on board for this. I know so many people who have experienced abuse, and have not known where to turn to.
Now in its second year, Wesleyan College, where SaVana is a student, has decided to take it under its wing and hold the performance at the school. Tickets are $10 general admission and can be purchased the day of the performance.
What will 2018 have in store for you?
I have a few shows planned in the Macon and Atlanta areas. A huge chunk of my energy is going to be put into working on my upcoming album and booking tour dates for 2018. It's an exciting and busy time!
I also love spending time, especially while not so busy, at the Children's Hospital singing with Songs For Kids. It's one of my favorite things to be a part of!
We caught up with singer/songwriter Louise Warren to talk about her inspirations and taking ownership of her dreams. This Georgian peach has recently released her debut album Lavender Sound and today is releasing a lyric video for her song "In The Dark", check out the video below her interview!
When did you first know you wanted to be a musician?
It was definitely before I started elementary school. My mom loves to tell people this story about when I was 3 or 4 and she apparently wanted me to clean up. I was swinging my legs off the side of a chest of drawers and singing for everyone. My response to her was something along the lines of “music is my life”. I don’t know what the true goal was in that specific moment (probably to avoid chores), but I knew early on that it was my favorite thing to do - especially when I started songwriting.
Who are artists that have inspired your music most?
I’m very melody centered. It’s the first thing I’m drawn to. I grew up listening to a lot of music that my parents grew up with -The Supremes, The Beach Boys, and Elvis. I soaked up every single album by The Beatles.
As a teenager, Arctic Monkeys and Fiona Apple really changed my world because their lyrics are just pure poetry.
How does your debut album Lavender Sound reflect who you are both as a person and an artist?
The entire concept of Lavender Sound is about taking the moments that could potentially break you and using those pieces to form a beautiful mosaic. The moment I declared that idea about the album, an entire sequence of events took place in my experience to make it so. The past 7 years have been a lot of intense growth for me. I lost people I loved and had so many false startups to this project that I was fearful that it would never happen.
As an artist, it meant declaring my commitment over and over to this album and taking ownership of my dreams. I was never going to quit trying to create it, even if I was 90 years old! Though, I’m grateful it happened now!
Lavender Sound is my coming-of-age story but more than that it was learning how to claim my worth. Whether I realized it or not, I was creating who I wanted to be alongside the music. That inner work is at the core of this project.
The lyric video for “In The Dark” is being released Friday, October 13th. What does this song mean to you?
In the Dark is about accepting that we cannot know what is coming next - in our relationships or in our lives. I’ve always considered what it would be like if we knew the future before it happened. When I was in my early twenties, it seemed like an appealing concept to me because there was a lot of uncertainty in my life, especially in love. But I came to the conclusion, through writing this song, that even with the potential for heartache and loss, I’d rather not know. The suspense is hard. Even now, I look up spoilers for Game of Thrones because I struggle with cliffhangers! But truthfully, we would make different choices if we knew the ending and then the ending might change and what we learned from it might change. It makes it increasingly important to cherish the journey - even if it means sitting with the hard stuff.
What’s your most proud accomplishment from this year?
Finally releasing this album! It has been a lifelong dream of mine - something I’ve excitedly planned for since I was a kid. I’d study liner notes and cover art and dreamed about what my first one would look like.
The experience truly went above and beyond my imagination. Sean Williams (Egil Studios) worked tirelessly on every track to get it where I wanted it and the art that Casie Trace drew for the cover reflected the dreaminess of it. My childhood self is literally doing backflips right now.
What goals do you still have for the rest of the year?
I have a few shows in Atlanta and Macon closing out the end of this year then I’m laying low until after the holidays. I love wrapping up every year volunteering at the Children’s Hospital (in Macon) singing with Songs For Kids.
There may also be another record very much in the works! I’m a recording addict now!
I would’ve never written Lavender Sound if it weren’t for a no-good, very bad day and the loving response of my extremely sweet mom.Read more