Jan 19, 2022
Sinusoidal Music gave me a very heartfelt and personal review and interview. I loved the questions about relating both my acting and music disciplines. Check it out!
Following the release of her 2021 single ‘malibu’, singer-songwriter Lauren Drake is now back with her third single, an engaging acoustic song called ‘play along’. The artist is known for her powerful performances that showcase her versatile singing and composition style, featuring highly emotive melodies and expressive lyrics.
The track begins with a soft acoustic guitar melody that plays with a rusty-toned electric, accompanying Laurens delicate vocals in the intro“
I don’t know why I’d waste my time/Looking for something though I’m blind/if you weren’t it for me/How am I supposed to see/Through the hazes and disguises”
It’s quite evident right from the start that she knows her way around as songwriter. A song like this doesn’t come along every day – one that paints a picture and is incredibly immersive. It’s a heartfelt narrative about the disillusionment of growing up, as she calls it, and it explores love, life and mental health from the eyes of a young adult.
As the track progresses, Lauren seems to have learned a lot from her introspective journey. She goes on to sing confidently about how she feels braver over uplifting melodies and rhythms. Overall, a top-notch production with a crystal clear mix.
It was an honour to interview Lauren Drake about the track, here’s how it went!
Q1 – ‘play along’ has a very soothing vibe to it, along with an emotive, jazz-like feel and that makes it sound very interesting. What is the story behind this track and when did you write it?
I’m so glad you picked up on those elements! I definitely was going for something like that. “play along” was written in the summer of 2019. The latter end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 were very challenging for me personally; mainly dealing with loss and navigating how to live and grow up as a young adult in such a turbulent time. I wanted to write an autobiographical song about the past year of my life, and I started to do so by examining what it was like to experience disillusionment through the lenses of a failed romantic relationship, uncertainty about the future and career goals, and mental illness. So, I sat in the living room in my parents’ house and the song just sort of appeared. It was done in less than an hour.
Q2 – The production of the track is top-notch! It’s great how the clean mix supports your vocals; very easy on the ears! Which artists do you look up to when it comes to singing, how have they influenced your singing style?
Thank you! John Lowell Anderson produced the song, and he did a wonderful job. I like to tell people that this song is an ode to all the pieces of art that got me through those challenging months. Kacey Musgraves’ “Slow Burn” directly inspired this track. That sort of self-aware, dreamy, metaphorical way to explore your life was so inspiring. There are also a lot of lyrical nods to Billy Joel’s “Vienna” in the song (“I’ll play this game if it keeps me from getting old” is one of them). But my main influence, on both my music and my life at this point, is none other than Taylor Swift. She’s the one who inspired me to keep writing songs and to pick up the guitar. Her most recent releases like “folklore” and “evermore” really inspired how I sang this song and how I wanted it to sound.
Q3 – You bring a touch of musical theatre to this record, and since you’re also an actress, the dramatic delivery shines through quite well. How has working as an actress inspired you as a musician?
John actually said the same thing as we were recording this song! And thank you, that is quite the compliment. I think one of the best things you could do as an actor is explore and create music, and the one of the best things you can do as a musician is tell stories, which is what actors do. So they go hand in hand. Artists who do both, in my opinion, have a unique perspective in that we know that while we may be the ones telling the story, it’s not about us at all. It’s about the listener, the audience. We need them as much as they need us. I know empathy has become sort of a saturated word as of late, but I think both acting and music teaches you empathy in unique ways, and for those of us that do both, they really serve us in being able to have a holistic, unique artistic perspective in what we bring to our work.
Q4 – Some of your previous releases like ‘Honestly’ and ‘okay’ are quite different and have a more pop-like sound to them, as compared to ‘play along’. What brought about the change in your songwriting style
I would also say my song “malibu” sounds completely different as well; that’s totally a pop-anthem, roll-your-windows-down-on-PCH sort of song. I made the very original demo to play along myself back in 2020. I knew I wanted it to be an intimate experience for the listener, as it was an intimate experience writing and sharing the song. My songwriting foundation didn’t change, as I would hope that all my songs communicate a powerful vulnerability that inspires a connection with the listener. But this folk-y sort of style was, sonically, the product of combining all the different musical influences that went into creating this song; “Vienna,” “Slow Burn,” and Taylor.
Q5 – If you had the chance to collaborate with any artist in the world, who would you choose and why?
It’s probably pretty obvious who I would pick at this point… but I would also really love to meet and, in a dream, work with Maggie Rogers. I really look up to her as an artist and musician and have so much respect for what she does. She always tells such a poignant story with each song she writes and produces, and she’s had my top song on Spotify Wrapped for two years in a row now.
Check out ‘play along’ on Spotify!