I had a really eye opening experience recently, and it was at the last place where I would ever expect to learn something new about my job, and really, myself. I was in an antique store, and for the first time in my entire life of shopping in antiques stores on the west coast, I didn’t see a single record player. Not one. No vinyl either. This surprised me, as I couldn’t remember a time when old people weren’t selling off their old albums and turntables in favor of the now almost defunct compact disc and more recently digital formats like MP3. I inquired with the store clerk about my discovery, and she told me that “Music and old record players never last around here anymore. Kids come in and scoop ‘em right up.” I don’t know why this got me thinking as much as it did, but I could stop considering the fact that, in waves, people pick and choose which archaic trends to revive. I’ve always hated the term “retro” being attached to anything, because I feel like looking backwards is always counterproductive to us getting to where we could be instead of here. Someone who I think understands my impatience to dive into the future head first with zero inhibitions to hold us back is Lauria. The mononymous Lauria is an R&B/indie pop singer hailing from Canada that is just beginning to get some attention south of the border in my native country of the United States. She’s very DIY/indie in her artistic presentation. She’s a no frills kind of artist with a lot of heart and a knack for throwing layer upon layer of elegant poetry at us until it feels like we’re completely removed from the physical world and transported into her mind, her point of view. But you know what Lauria isn’t? She’s not a hipster.
Lauria doesn’t strike me as someone who is looking to sell ten million records this summer, and that is actually a really, really good thing. She comes across like an authentically introspective artist who doesn’t want to rush into her career, but instead let it grow along with her own abilities. She’s playing this thing out so that her energy isn’t spread too thin, and her music is allowed to flourish and come into its own on its own timeframe, with an audience that is still forming as this decade comes to a close. Nothing in her debut song “Losing Me” sounds like a manufactured piece or a tool in her distribution of textures. It’s a very simple, artfully arranged pop song that is deceptively unsophisticated. The brilliant woman behind it is holding all the cards, and she is in complete control of her destiny at this point. Imagine if she would have come around twenty or even just ten years ago. Would the world be ready for this kind of autonomously crafted music? Would the business? It doesn’t really matter, because we are more than ready for her now.