LP sat down and spoke with DamnMag backstage during her first week of performing songs from the new record, “Forever, For Now” (unfinished and untitled at the time). The quotes in this article are from that conversation in July 2013.
LP’s majestic mop—curly, over-the-eyes, Bob-Dylan-esque—seems the perfect crown to her easy-going, rock-n-roll style. It’s a masculine mien, one that often results in descriptions such as “androgynous,” and “tom-boy.” But it’s her voice that is unmistakably feminine, operatic, song-bird, sexy. It is uniquely LP.
“People are always saying to me, like, ‘Your voice is so big, I just wish the music would meet it…’ you know? I’ve heard that several times, and so we’ll see, maybe we got it this time.”
They got it this time.
Although a tiny Martin ukulele is her signature accompaniment (in fact, LP is the first female ambassador to Martin guitars), her new album, Forever, For Now, resounds with the only instrument thunderous enough to keep up with her huge voice: the drums.
Of course Forever, For Now is mixed with many other instruments, including orchestral effects to keep her prodigious vocals company, but the drums are prominent thoughout. Songs such as “Tokyo Sunrise,” “Heavenly Light,” “Night Like This,” and “Salvation” exhibit booming percussion. It’s tribal almost, as if resonating through a red-sand canyon, scoring a young lioness’ presentation into the world. And in some ways, it is: LP is experiencing a Simba-style emergence after a career of playing label leap-frog and her only major successes coming from writing for others’ voices, albeit an impressive roster (Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Cher, Rita Ora, The Backstreet Boys).
Finally, the dawn is breaking on her own record. “This is my first, major label, massive, expensive, come-to-complete-fruition record…The guys at the label were like, ‘Can you write some songs that you would write for other people? We wanna see.’”
The label guys at Warner Brothers got a hint of her commercial potential when LP’s whistling tune “Into The Wild” was picked up for a Citibank TV ad, becoming so popular that it was even reported on by CNN.
“It’s how people get in and get noticed,” says LP of this new way musicians gain mainstream attention. “And people really do, they just hear a commercial and are like ‘Wait, who’s that?’ They might not even be looking at it, it’s just shit that comes on when they’re not paying attention.”
Yet, LP’s voice is inherently attention-grabbing. You know when she comes on. LP’s live show not only exhibits her incredible command of octaves, it has your ears on the edge of their lobes listening for the summit of intoxicating climbs found in songs such as “Into The Wild,” “Tokyo Sunrise,” and the title track “Forever For Now.”
“The term for my music is ‘big indie,’ because I feel like it’s not terribly indie but I kind of fashion it in a way that it’s more pop and more mainstream indie,” says LP. “It’s just bigger. Like me, in colour. A little bit more loud.”
If you haven’t seen her in living colour, look up some of her EastWood Studios sessions to get a sense of the vocal athleticism and passion behind every LP performance. Better yet, catch one of her live shows, as LP hits the road on tour this month.
LP’s new LP, Forever, For Now, is out now.