Spring Shows and Snows

A few weeks ago I played a small string of shows through Southern BC and Alberta. We combined the shows with some time with friends in Portland and Seattle, an amazing evening seeing Radiohead play in Seattle(!!!), and family time in Calgary for Easter. The shows were so fun, in some really unique venues full of lovely people. The first of the three shows was in Christina Lake, BC, where we had played for the first time on the Dearestly fall tour. Thanks to the venue being right beside an art gallery featuring local artists and artisans, I came home with a lovely handmade mug.

The next night we were in Cranbrook, BC playing at The Stage Door, a really quaint community theatre. The show was really lovely, and it was great to meet so many awesome people. We stayed at the Elizabeth Lake Lodge (HIGHLY recommended if you’re ever in the area) and played a rousing game of mini golf in the morning!

We finished this short run in Black Diamond, AB, a tiny town but with an unusually high number of really unique thrift/vintage/boho/handmade shops. We played at The Westwood, which used to be called The Stop, also highly recommended if you’re ever driving through! I thought I’d share a few shots from the final show of the weekend taken by Mae Bunn. Enjoy!

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XO
Lauren.

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An Afternoon on Mont Royal

Some of you may have seen my Instagram post yesterday about songwriting. I was flipping through my notebook and realized that I didn’t get many songs written last year. It seemed to be the year of bits and pieces. While I sometimes allow that to make me feel guilty for not “doing my job” or being creative enough, the truth is that there is a place for bits and pieces of inspiration that had a great start, but didn’t go anywhere. Now those little voice memos and scribbled notes are starting points, launching me into a new season of songwriting. I feel very inspired and though it can be a slow go like any creative endeavour, I’m excited to diligently work through all the bits and pieces from last year’s writing and watch them turn into beautiful songs.

One of the reasons that there weren’t as many songs being written last year was our focus on releasing Dearestly, and the huge tour we went on in the fall. While in Monteral, I got to spend a few hours before our show to take some photos with my friend Stéphane Lord on the beautiful Mont Royal. If you haven’t been to Montreal, Mont Royal is a small mountain in the middle of the city, home to a sprawling park full of forests, pathways, and parkland that makes you forget you’re in one of the largest cities in Canada. Most of the leaves had fallen when we were there making for a barren landscape that gave a stark backdrop to the bold, velvet outfits I decided to wear.

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Lauren Mann

Velvet Maxi Dress: Free People // Embroidered Cape: vintage // Velvet Skirt: vintage Holt Renfrew // Turtleneck: vintage Ralph Lauren

Makeup: Pure Anada

Cheers,
Lauren.

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.

Cheers,
Lauren.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Cheers,
Lauren.

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,

Lauren.