LAUREL has returned with Best I Ever Had, another sublime taste of her Chrome Sparks-produced forthcoming album.
LAUREL is nothing if not celebratory – her music celebrates love, her friends, and the places that inspire her the most. On the two new singles she’s released this year, Scream Drive Faster and Best I Ever Had, her joy is completely seductive. These are driving pop anthems you’ll want to sing from the mountaintops.
As she tells us, the delight at the heart of Best I Ever Had was the product of an almost pressure-less recording environment alongside someone she’s come to collaborate with very closely – producer Chrome Sparks. You can ever hear her laughing in the track, if you listen closely enough.
“It was a song that had been building within me for a couple of years”, Laurel shared. “I’d half written it at home in London but it wasn’t until me and Chrome Sparks worked on it together in New York that it really flourished into the song it was supposed to be. I feel like the vibe in the studio had a huge impact on it.”
“We were just playing around with sounds really, quite hungover. Never intending to make something to release. I think this light-heartedness comes across in the song so much more than my original demo. There are a few times throughout the song where I’m laughing, which was just from in-between takes when we were messing around.”
This set of songs is leading into an album, Laurel’s first since the acclaimed DOGVIOLET released in 2018. Chrome Sparks will serve as producer across the whole record – a relationship that blossomed from a chance meeting on the streets of New York.
“I think it was quite a surprise to both of us”, LAUREL recalled. “We just decided to try something out together one day for fun and then it turned into a whole record.”
Given DOGVIOLET was recorded, produced, and mixed by LAUREL herself, it came as a surprise to many that this forthcoming record would shift away from such a DIY ethic. Artists, especially those with such a complete creative vision, often have trouble handing off control to other parties.
For LAUREL though, it wasn’t a problem in the slightest.
“It’s actually not been difficult at all. Jeremy has a whole set of skills I don’t. When we’re working together I’m a little in awe of what he comes up with so it’s really easy to let go of that control.”
“Working with all analog gear was pretty exciting as my home studio set up is quite basic, it just opened up my creativity and music to a whole new level of possibilities, so if anything it’s felt quite freeing.”
Aside from new relationships, Best I Ever Had (and the forthcoming body of work) was highly inspired by LAUREL’s move to the US of A. Formerly at home in Britain, certain landscapes and adventures will play prominently into the rest of the songs LAUREL plans to release soon.
“I went on a road trip around California which was pretty mind blowing. We stayed in Idlewild, then through to Joshua Tree and across to Sequoia Park, but actually I think Death Valley left the biggest imprint on me.”
“We stayed at the Amargosa Opera House, this motel literally in the middle of the desert, with a super lavishly decorated opera room. It was totally haunted. We drove to the nearest place to eat which happened to be a casino, and the last bar I went to before lockdown.”
“The waitress sat with us and showed us pictures of her 18 peacocks named after all Italian designers. The whole thing was just so whacky and inspiring. I can’t tell you quite how but it’s had a big effect on me and my writing for sure.”
Whatever other escapades LAUREL has to share with us, you can bet they’ll be a thrill to hear.
Best I Ever Had is out now via Communion Records / Caroline Australia. Stream it here.