A nod to her hometown Rotherham roots
Sheffield-based singer-songwriter Lauren Housley has plenty to reflect on from over the past year.
Aside from every musician’s angst of coping with the impact of the pandemic, she has had a baby and managed to deliver a new album too.
Her latest collection of songs is called Girl From The North - a nod to her hometown Rotherham roots and, latterly, Sheffield.
It’s an accomplished album on which her soulful voice shines through on material bristling with strong melodies and hooks.
Lauren’s reputation is sometimes associated with Americana-style rootsiness – she has performed as part of an acoustic trio - but Girl From The North is evidence of a childhood love of “good pop songwriting” buoyed by a band that ranges from pedal steel guitar to organ.
Recorded at home in lockdown, it’s her third album, written by Lauren and her husband and long-time musical collaborator, Thomas Dibb, and released on her own label, Lovebird Recordings.
The main theme is one of rediscovering herself and her roots.
“To move forward we sometimes have to go back,” she says.
“I wanted to prove to myself that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can make great music.
“Returning to my hometown of Rotherham a few years ago, after leaving at the age of 18, seemed like the most bizarre decision I’d ever made.
“It was never part of my ‘plan’ but it has in fact enabled me to reassess my life and career goals and move forward in a way that feels true to myself.”
Lauren and Thomas started recording and producing the bulk of Girl From The North at the end of 2019
Plans for a move to London were halted by the news of the impending arrival of their first child, Noah.
Instead, the couple ended up in one bed apartment in Sheffield where Thomas somehow managed to mix the album with parental life during the first months of lockdown.
Lauren also broadcast a weekly ‘Tuesday Night Live’ stream from her kitchen.
Her burgeoning career has seen her open for the likes of Jack Savoretti and Van Morrison and attract admirers through Bob Harris’s BBC Radio 2 programme.
Girl From The North suggests a career in the ascendency – one that will hopefully be reinforced by an autumn tour.