Victoria Day Vibes

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I hope all you lovelies are enjoying the long weekend, and if it’s not a long weekend where you are, then I hope Monday is treating you well! Maxine and I are enjoying a relaxing day at home working on music (me) and playing in the grass/napping (Maxine). I’m so thankful to be able to set aside Mondays and Fridays to work on music and have some intentional creative time. Today I’m working on some really old songs that we’re re-recording and refining for our Exclusive Content Project.

This project has been keeping me on my toes with music and other creative endeavours and I love it! It’s been stretching me way out of my comfort zone, but even in just the past few months, I’ve become much more confident in the ways of recording, something that used to intimidate me because, while I knew how to write the musical parts, I wasn’t very familiar with the technical side of things. More and more I’m learning how important it is to always be challenging yourself and be ambitious about working towards goals. You will undoubtedly see so much growth in yourself, and that is the most encouraging thing!

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Anyway, I couldn’t help but capture these shots of Max playing in the grass this morning. She loves being outside, and today instead of leaving her to play, I sat on the grass and joined in, and it was so fun! Of course after the playtime was some hardcore nap time. Maxine is definitely able to find the comfiest napping spots.

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Happy Monday!

Aren’t We All a Little Odd?

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Six months ago we launched a project that has become very dear to us, called the Exclusive Content Project. Basically, you can subscribe for as low as $6/month and every month we send out content. It could be demos, new songs, old songs, Christmas songs, an online show, a handwritten letter, or, like this month, a t-shirt! We’re so thankful to everyone who has signed up so far and has helped us build this project, and we can’t wait to see where it will go in the future. It’s kept me busy writing and recording music, and always thinking of creative things to share, not to mention that it’s helping us work towards doing music full time. It’s also been really cool to connect with a lot of our fans on a deeper level than just facebook/instagram posts, and that makes it so meaningful.

This month we’re releasing a brand new shirt with artwork by our friend Ross Bodenmann (you may remember seeing his work on Where the Ocean Meets the Sky). We’ve had this saying, “Aren’t We All a Little Odd” floating around our heads for the past few months, and we thought this shirt would be the perfect way to debut it. We love the community of people that we have around us, and I think it’s cool to realize that we’re all from different walks of life, have different ideologies, histories, live in different places, and so on, but music has brought us together in some form or another.

So, if you want to join us Fairly Odd Folk on our musical journey and get a t-shirt, and other great content every month, you can sign up for our Exclusive Content Project. We’d love to have you on board!

Cheers,
Lauren.

A State of Chaos

We got back home from two weeks away on Friday night and have spent the weekend in a frenzy of catching up on cleaning and laundry, and working on multiple projects including recording a song for a quick deadline, and rehearsing for some shows coming up this week. There’s a slight sense of chaos with drums and tambourines in the living room, cords through the hallway, and a mess of a music room.

But in all the chaos, there is a sense of purpose and that makes it feel less chaotic, more “normal”. Filling my days with creative endeavours is energizing for my mind and soul and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to do what I do.

Here are some snapshots of what our house has looked like this past weekend. Music equipment everywhere!

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We all live in some sort of chaos, and I hope that whatever that looks like for you, that you can find some purpose in it!

Until next time,
Lauren.

February Update and a Live EP!

Hey everyone!

Apologies for the blogging silence! We’re already a month and a half into 2015, which is hard to believe, and it’s been a great year so far! Back in December we launched our new website and a new project that we’ve called the Exclusive Content Project. Basically, every month we send out some sort of content (new songs, videos, live footage, etc) to people who subscribe for $6 a month. There are a bunch of reasons we started it, and you can read the whole story behind it HERE, but in the first few months we’ve been doing it we’ve had so much fun creating content each month and thinking of fun ways to connect with our subscribers.

In January we did a two-week tour out to Vancouver and back, playing six shows in total. We filmed and recorded every show, and some footage of life on tour, and for this month we put together a six song live EP called the Across the Rockies Tour EP, as well as a video of all the songs and some footage from the tour.

If you’d like to sign up for the Exclusive Content Project, head to http://www.laurenmannmusic.com/exclusives. We’ve got lots of fun things planned for this year, especially since we’ll be working on tons of new songs in the coming months!

Until next time,
Lauren.

The Most Memorable Moments of 2014!

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Wow, what a year it has been! From start to finish, 2014 was a wild ride for us, and let me first express how thankful we are to have an amazing community of friends and fans who have been with us through it all! Thank you for all your support on and off the road! We love being able to create music for you to listen to, and we’re so excited to do that, and more in 2015.

I thought I’d finish off the year with a look back at some of the most memorable moments of 2014, and there sure was a lot of them! Let’s take a little walk down memory lane, shall we?

2014 started with a few months off in Brooks, AB, splitting our time between painting houses, teaching piano, and writing new songs and rehearsing in our storage unit practice space! It was a hard winter for Zoltan and I, but the hard times make for the best songs, right?

In early spring we entered the CBC Searchlight contest, which was a crazy journey in and of itself! People came out of the woodwork to show their support with shares and votes, and we even got endorsed by the Mayor of Brooks, Mr. Martin Shields!

After two months of intense voting and many nerve-wracking rounds, we won the CBC Searchlight contest and found out via phone call on CBC Q!

One of the prizes for winning was getting to play at CBC Music Fest at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, BC on June 20. It was an amazing day of seeing some of our favourite Canadian bands and meeting lots of CBC personalities.

On our spring tour we stopped in Prince George, BC and I got to visit a ukelele class at a local school and play some songs for them. And then they surprised me by playing and singing I Lost Myself! It was one of the sweetest experiences that I will never forget.

In July we got the amazing opportunity to fly to Ottawa to be part of the Canada Day celebrations! I played in the CBC Songwriter’s Circle that was broadcast live from Major’s Hill Park, and then we played a full set at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau and finished off the night by watching the fireworks over Parliament Hill. It was pretty cool to get to celebrate Canada Day in the nation’s capital.

We kicked off our summer tour by doing a session with Grant Lawrence on his CBC Beetle Roadtrip at Dinosaur Provincial Park! We played a song live in the badlands, and then went on a hunt for dinosaur bones!

Our summer consisted of playing a few really cool festivals and outdoor music in the park shows. Some of the highlights included playing at the CBC Stampede Breakfast…

Playing an outdoor show for over 2000 people in Thunder Bay…

And a HUGE storm at Harvest Sun Festival in Kelwood, MB that meant we actually couldn’t play! We still had a great time, and before we left I was able to play a song in the tent while we all tried to stay warm and dry.

One of the biggest events of the year for us was being part of the Peak Performance Project, hosted by Alberta Music and The Peak 95.3. It was an intense, 5 month talent development project, and one of the first assignments was to make an intro video. We had a lot of fun with this, filming it with our friend Cole Bennett while on tour in Ontario.

In September we spent a week at Rockridge Canyon in Princeton, BC for the Peak Performance Boot Camp with the eleven other bands from Alberta, and twelve bands from BC. We paired up with Jon Bryant and wrote and recorded this super fun pop song, Every Good Thing.

Following boot camp, we made our way to Pender Island, BC and filmed Where the Ocean Meets the Sky: A Visual EP. It was a lot more work than we thought it would be when we initially planned the project, but it was all worth it. We recorded and filmed six songs in six different location on the island in 5 days, and put all the songs plus a 30 min behind-the-scenes featurette together on a DVD. Looking back, I can’t believe we pulled it off, but we had an amazing team of people involved who helped make it happen. Mad props to Dustin Heigh, Owen Marmorek, and Ross Bodenman who were instrumental in making it all happen.

In the fall we did a campaign with charity: water, hoping to raise $10,000 to build a well in Ethiopia. With your help, we made our goal in just two weeks! It was an honour to see so many friends and fans who support our music help us do something for a community across the world.

On November 4 we found out that we made it to the top 3 of the Peak Performance Project, and on November 27 we played the final showcase and found out that we came in 2nd place, winning $75,000 to go towards recording our next record. It was such an honour to get to that point, and share the stage with 36? and The Wet Secrets and it means that we’ll finally be able to head into the studio in 2015 to record a new album!

To finish off the year, Zoltan and I made the move from Brooks to Calgary, finding a place to live and diving into city life, complete with me getting day jobs at DAVIDsTEA and Goodwill Thrift store, and Zoltan doing sound and painting. We started an Exclusive Content Project through our brand new website where we’ll be giving subscribers exclusive access to new songs, demos, collaborations, videos, etc every month. We’re excited for the opportunity to connect with fans even more, and constantly be coming up with different creative projects to share!

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Wow. As I’m typing all this and looking back through photos and videos from the year, I can’t believe that all of this (and more) happened in one year. When we started 2014 we thought we would just be at home a lot, laying low, and not doing too much touring. But that changed very quickly, and the number of opportunities we had and things we accomplished is still blowing my mind.

Thank you so much to everyone who stood by us through all the ups and downs, who voted for us, celebrated with us, cheered us on, listened to our music, shared our posts, sent us emails, came to our shows, danced with us, and have honestly been the best group of people we could have by our side. You all mean the world to us, and we can’t wait to make more music to share with you!

I hope that 2015 brings so much hope and love and happiness to you and yours, and that you will find yourself on many new and exciting adventures!

See ya next year!

Lauren.