Dearestly Review Contest!

Thank you to everyone who sent in their review of Dearestly for our contest! It was really cool to hear what you think of the album, what songs you like, and how it’s impacted you. The contest closed yesterday, and we are excited to announce who will be receiving the CD package, including Dearestly, limited edition t-shirt, screen printed poster, and 100g of Dearestea. The winner is…


This is what Ben had to say about Dearestly:

“Lauren Mann’s new album Dearestly is my current pick for album of the year (however, I don’t see it being supplanted any time soon). There are a number of stand-out tracks, two of which are in line for my top five songs of the year (“New Beginning” and “You Are Fire”). However, that is not to sell the other songs short! “Brave Face” and “Beautiful Place” are also very strong songs; the Beatlesque outro on “St. Lawrence” is such fun; the driving rhythm of “Show Me The Way” brings a real sense of urgency to the latter part of the album; and the 7/4 bridge on “Wooden Heart” is a great touch. Highly recommended!”

Thanks for the kind words, Ben, and everyone who submitted something on Facebook, Instagram, and by email. If you’d like to hear what other people have to say about Dearestly, you can read the reviews below, along with a few official reviews.


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“Some classic Lauren, some newer divergences, but it’s all gold.”
– Ryan Kiedrowski –

“The themes and purpose spark truths in my humanity that draw me towards these songs in an inescapable fondness of rediscovery.”
– Why You Should Love Music –

“I have not heard a more pleasant pure pop album for years and may well be a five star album.”
– Wout Natris –

“We love your new album. It is a beautiful album full of authenticity. We can hear Lauren’s heart in every song. We enjoyed the variety of instruments and melodies.”
– Val Gurney

“Dearestly is a wonderful sonic journey that builds on Lauren’s already amazing body of work to craft something that is really special. You can really tell that it has been made by someone who loves making music and sharing it with the world. I would say that it is my favourite of the album of the year and that is saying something as I have heard a lot of amazing music this year. Favourite song: New Beginning.”
– Ben Perkins

“Dearestly told such a beautiful story. Each of the songs was handcrafted from the heart & I found myself tearing up from time to time when some lyrics would hit home. It’s the perfect album to have playing on a lazy Sunday afternoon.”
– Kelsey Benson

“Leaving. Arriving. Finding. Changing. Staying. “Dearestly” explores all these topics. That’s what makes it such an universal album, since there are few things as rich to the human experience of learning, growing and discovering as going through all of these. On top of that, Lauren Mann has laid out all these intense feelings in the form of a colourful landscape on a canvas of bravery, curiosity, strength and love.

From a personal perspective, I could not recommend this album more, especially if you’re longing for a change, experiencing one, or settling on a new place –whether geographical or spiritual–. Lauren’s craft comes forward organically as an encouragement to overcome fear, a new perspective to pursue your dreams, and a supportive hug, no matter the outcome. Her music will be there for you.”
– Regina Sienra

“But I’m still a bit nervous, to start all over again”. It is certainly a new beginning for Lauren Mann who dropped the “and the Fairly Odd Folk” moniker this time around. As you listen to her new album Dearestly, you get the feeling that something happened since the last record came out, that she’s stepped up her game and wrote a major record.

Inspired. This record feels inspired.

From the poppy “Brave Face” to the melancholy of “Oregon” and the electric guitar of “Show me the way”, each song resonates and is a success. Lauren even manages to bring Canada’s two solitudes together with the beautiful and timeless “St. Lawrence”. The record came out last July and I’m still listening to this album almost daily without skipping a song. “Et tout ce temps, je n’me suis jamais sentie aussi vivante”… and it’s the same for us!”
– Phillippe W. Naud

“My favorite album so far of Lauren’s. After listening to Dearestly, I found myself humming and singing some of the words of so many songs. New Beginnings, I Wanna Know, Oregon, and Show me the Way are particularly meaningful to me. An absolute hit! Then to see Lauren sing in person on our beautiful Gabriola Island, made it even more poignant and yet so hopeful. Thank you, Lauren.”
– Wendy Pitcher

“Dearestly is one of the best albums I have ever heard! Produced and recorded very well! I recommend it to all my friends!”
– Jaimen Bendixon

“I’m an old Minnesotan transplanted to northern FL. No more snow for me. But I do miss the unique music that is found in the northern climes and your music, including “Dearestly”, lets me immerse myself in memories of home. Thanks for the memories!”
– Reid Woolery

“I have the extreme luck of being Lauren’s tenant, meaning I heard some of the rehearsals and all I can say is that I’ve never heard such sweet lyrical vocals, backed with excellent rhythm. I was delighted to download Dearestly when it became available and it’s become one of my go to albums to feel elevated, inspired, joyous and delighted with life. That’s an impressive list of reasons to go to an album.”
– Kath Chapman

“Talented musical voices that will change the world, one note at a time.”
– Shawn Robert Harvey

“Dearestly is a beautiful record. There is not a weak point on this album; all the songs are either good or great. I honestly did not think Lauren Mann’s last album “Over Land and Sea” could be topped, but I was wrong!”
– Michael Roman

“Dearestly was one of the major highlights of my summer, and so very continues to be a source of comfort and encouragement to me. “Hibernate” and “Oregon” remind me of a rainy day 7-8 hour bus ride I took this summer from New York back home to Virginia because I had them on repeat and refused to turn them off, “You Are Fire” is one of my top favourite relaxation songs, and “Brave Face” has gotten me through many anxious moments (and is definitely the song I hum to myself on hard days at work). In short…so many of the songs already hold precious memories of mine, and this is an album that will always be near and dear to my heart. Thank you.”
– Lexi Shaw

“This is a goregous album, full of layered melodies, and held by Lauren’s voice. The listener has a full experience from bubbly and sunny songs, to more evocative compositions, all of which sound organic and lovely. Dearestly went on my favorites playlist immediately after download, and I don’t see it leaving anytime soon.”
– @nittfox1977

“Dearestly manages to tell a story personal to the artist, yet relatable to every listener. Layered styles and sound make this a dynamic album, full of songs you can dance, sing, relax, and let’s face it, cry to. Lauren Mann has done it again…”
– @chloejletters

“Dearestly is a masterpiece! Not the kind that gets hung in a museum, or in a locked vault somewhere secret because it is worth that much and more… No, it is the kind of masterpiece that can only be appreciated when it is shared. That’s exactly what Lauren did… She shared something neat and dear to her… So that it could be near and dear to the world…Dearestly…a masterpiece! Voice and soul cascading over delicate keys, strings, thumps, and crescendo… Yes, a masterpiece, if ever such a thing definitively and truly existed.”
– @rbaileyallen

“A tremendous album from a substantial artist with a beautiful voice, and a very engaging sense of musicality. Not to mention being just such a lovely person. If you enjoy incredibly well-crafted songs, you owe it to yourself to get this album.”
– Gerry Lipnowski

Set Course to Love

Earlier this week I released the music video for my song Brave Face, the first single from Dearestly. The song has been in rotation on CBC Radio 2 across Canada and it’s been pretty cool to tune in randomly a few times and hear it over the airwaves! And I’m excited to have a visual to accompany the song, filmed and produced by our good friends at Portage Creative.

When Cole from Portage Creative told us his vision for the song, I was pretty excited that it involved going sailing in a friend’s boat around Georgian Bay. I had been in a sailboat before, but never under full sail, and definitely not being the one to navigate! Scott was a wonderful guide, teaching me the ways of sailing, and helping us do some tricky manuevers to get all the shots. It was a day of many new experiences, and I think that’s why I love this video so much, because it marries my two passions: music and adventure.

We also got to work with some of Cole & Lydia’s friends who did a wonderful job as the other characters in the story, and we even grabbed a few random people to be extras, which turned out great! It was a beautiful collaborative effort that involved late nights, crying babes, Subway runs, and lots of stepping out of my comfort zone. I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes shots of the shoot that will give you a closer look at what went in to create such a beautiful video.




This day has been a long time coming. Many songs written over many miles travelled, stories of love and loss, joy and sorrow. Days where I wanted to give up and quit, but kept finding the resolve to keep on keeping on, making so many beautiful moments and memories along the way. And here we are, July 8, 2016, the day I get to share my new album, Dearestly, with the world.

There’s much that I could say about all that this album holds, but I’ll let the songs speak for themselves. It’s been a labour of love and I am so proud of how it all came together. Howard and Josh who co-produced the album were so instrumental in shaping the songs and the sound, and it really wouldn’t be the same without them. It was such a fun and collaborative process to write and record these songs, and it helped me rediscover my passion for creating and performing music. Not that I had lost that passion, but I was certainly very burnt out from a few years of constant touring and some intense personal struggles. But they say that beauty is born from pain, and this album is a testament to that.

Dearestly is available for a pay-what-you-feel digital download today, and physical copies (CD & vinyl) will be released August 19. We decided to do a pay-what-you-feel model for the digital download to get the album into as many ears as possible. Since we don’t have a lot of industry support, our fans and friends are who will help us get the word out. We also announced a big cross-Canada tour happening this fall, so check out the dates and see if we’ll be playing near you!

I hope you will check out Dearestly, download it, maybe pre-order a physical copy, and perhaps even share it with your friends. And if you enjoy the album, I’d love to hear how it makes you feel, what songs are your favourite, and which ones really speak to you. I’ve kept these songs very close to me for so long, and I’m excited to give them to the world and see what happens with them.

Much love,

In the Blink of an Eye

When you’re used to tours that last two to four months, spending ten days on the road goes by in the blink of an eye. But it was a ridiculously fun ten days with lots of adventures, van jams, good chats and many a long drive.

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I had an all star team of musicians playing with me on this tour including my old piano teacher, Adam Gill, our good friend Darryl Swart, and Mathew Des Roches, who opened for all the shows with his wife Sherry with their musical project WhiteBird. Their two year old son Phoenix was also on tour with us, and he did extraordinarily well on the road! It definitely helped that we were driving through rural Alberta and he has a fascination with “diggers,” dump trucks, trains and other large vehicles. Every day he’d get my attention from the back seat and point out a tractor or big truck.


It was a little strange not having Zoltan on stage this time around. He switched roles to doing sound, and he did an amazing job of it. He’s quite a master with those faders, and even though we missed having him dancing around with his tambourine, he played such an important part in the sound of the show.


It’s so neat to see how people come together and work alongside each other. We had lots of good times in the van working on harmonies or jamming songs, chatting about the future of music or just reading and listening to music. It’s awesome to find a group of people that you really jive with, and I hope that you’ll be seeing more of these odd folk in the future.


Now that we’re home, it’s back into regular routines and planning ahead for some big tours later this year. Thanks for following the adventure!


Mid-Tour Reflection

We’ve been on the road six days, and I have to say that this has been one of the funnest tours I’ve ever done. Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s been a year and a half since I last was on the road and it feels new again, or the fact that we have a two-and-a-half year old on the road with us, but either way, it’s been a slice. We’re halfway through, enjoying a day off in Edmonton, AB today before continuing to the northern region of the province and finishing things off in Calgary.     

The shows themselves haven’t been hugely attended, but we’ve been having so much fun playing together, and every day there’s something meaningful that happens. We’ve made awesome connections with so many people, many times over delicious food, and as always, we’ve been experiencing some of the greatest hospitality ever. That’s what tour has always been about for me, and it’s those connections that have kept me going over the years. 


For me personally, this tour has been a launch into a new season, and stepping into some new boldness and creativity. It’s been so great being on stage again and exploring the performance side of the music after spending the greater part of last year in the studio, which is also completely fulfilling but in a very different way. 

Everyone who’s on tour with us, Zoltan, Adam, Darryl, Mat and Sherry (and of course Phoenix) has brought such a unique energy to the group, and it’s really neat to see how everyone interacts and relates to each other. I feel like I’ve grown so much even just in these past five days, especially with regards to my confidence and boldness on stage, and I’m excited to continue being challenged and grow musically. 
I have a feeling that we’re going to get to our final show in Calgary and have a hard time parting ways, but who knows what the future holds. These musical bonds that we have forged run deep. 

Thanks for following our journey. 

Until next time,