Songwriters Singing Songs about Songwriting

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting the very first Songwriting Intensive at Wildwood Artist Retreat, put on by Ptarmigan Music and Theatre Society. Nine wonderful people decided to come and learn together and we laughed, ate food together, and became friends, all while learning the different aspects of songwriting (including alliteration!), and how to maintain a songwriting practice. On Sunday we had the studio all set up so each participant was able to record a demo of a song they either wrote or were working on during the weekend.

It’s amazing to see how when you get a group of creative people together, the creative and collaborative energy is so great, and we feed off each other. Being a bit of an introvert and not much of a talker, it was tiring for me to be facilitating and teaching the entire weekend but though I was quite exhausted come Sunday evening, I was so full of joy and inspiration and gratitude for the opportunity to share one of my greatest passions with others.

If you’re interested in songwriting and would like some help in the right direction, send me a message! I am definitely planning on hosting more workshops, and I’m also available for individual sessions.

Enjoy these photos from our time this weekend!















❤ Lauren.


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