Interview: Laura Elizabeth Hughes
We were fortunate enough to catch up with the superb Dublin-based artist Laura Elizabeth Hughes, for an interview. She has released her stunning single ‘Pandemonium’ in May 2020. Check out our interview below!
Tell us about yourself?
I am a singer-songwriter from Dublin, Ireland. I am a lover of words and how powerful they can be; their presence and their absence. I write songs from the heart, from my life’s experience (mainly ends up being heartache but they do say write what you know!)
What is your songwriting process?
The songwriting process can be a quick turn around, or something to labour over. Sometimes melodies and words fall from the sky, and in those instances, the process of turning a phrase into a song doesn’t take long at all. I do think that when a phrase drops in on you that it’s actually a whole song, and it’s just showing you a sneaky bit of leg through a red velvet curtain to entice you to work on it. The song exists in its entirety; you just need to follow where it wants to go.
Tell us about your latest release?
‘Pandemonium’ was written while I was tucked away in the middle of Bannow, Wexford with my piano. I have very vivid dreams, and one night I had a dream I was down in my home away from home, and I had this overwhelming impending doom feeling. My best friend texted me to tell me the news that the end of the world was about to happen, zombies, rising tides, the whole shebang. And I panicked.
She rang me to tell me to meet her at our Old Oak Tree with a packet of biscuits and that she would bring a flask of tea. So we sat in that tree, happy to be together and ok in the middle of the ‘Pandemonium’ that was about to ensue. I recorded it in one live take here in Dublin in February (there’s a video if anybody would like to see).
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
I’d like to think that there’s a sliver of hope. A lot of my songs come from a place of feeling alone in my emotions and circumstances, but I know that they’re not unique feelings. Maybe someone else hearing my songs will hear their experience in my words and know they’re not on their own. With Pandemonium, it’s a message of hope for your own people to be there when things go to sh*te.
Who are your musical influences?
Oooh, there are far too many to list outright. I’m a Laura Marling, Bon Iver, Joni herself, Frightened Rabbit kinda gal though the honest and poetic lyricism is next level.
Who are your non-musical influences?
I’m a book person, very much influenced by the words of others. Haruki Murakami and the beauty of his novels, Ted Hughes’ Tales From Ovid, the countless Instagram pages of hive-mind ramblings, the entire concept of the everyday. And the sea.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
When I opened for Billie Marten in The Soundhouse here in Dublin last June, the crowd were amazing, everything just fell into place, and it felt so good, sharing a stage with her.
What is your funniest gig moment?
The first time I was playing a new song that I had written about having too much wine and doing bold things with a friend of mine, and then remembering that my dad was in the audience. I caught eyes with him halfway through my story and told the audience I had clocked him and was hoping the joke would mask my absolute mortification!
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
The anonymity and financial brick wall of the online streaming rat race. Just getting heard over the push of big labels for radio play etc. I know the big guns have always been firing away, but I think that there should be more room made for the indie artists in the broader system. That, and insecurity and mental health issues, both of which are massive obstacles.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Just. Do. It. I mean, who am I to tell people what to do. I’m still ‘starting out’. I’m not sure when that’ll ever stop being true to be honest. So maybe just do it, keep doing it, and do it better then!
What are your hopes for the next two years?
I’ve got some more music coming out soon, so I’m hoping that that goes well. I’m hoping to have finished my degree. I’m hoping the world hasn’t imploded and that we can get back to creating music and having gigs and sharing stories as soon as possible. I’m really hoping to rekindle that human connection with people outside of the internet!
FV Music Blog June 2020