It has been almost two months since we had the pleasure of premiering Lauren O’Connell‘s new LP, Details. And then we were given the opportunity to speak with the San Francisco-based singer/songwriter about her songwriting process, why sugar gliders are on her shirts and, of course, we talked about her brand new album, Details.
We hope you enjoy the interview with Rochester, NY-native Lauren O’Connell!
Lemonade Magazine: Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for chatting with us and congratulations on the release of Details!
Lauren O’Connell: Hi! Thanks!
LM: You’ve been performing and writing music since you were a teenager. How has your songwriting process changed since then?
LO: I don’t know that my process has changed a whole lot. I’m usually starting with a lyrical idea or a line that came from somewhere in my life, and building from there to try to explain my thoughts to myself or somebody else. I’m a bit more meticulous than I was then and my taste has changed. Continuing to grow as an instrumentalist has certainly opened things up for me musically, which allows me to play with those stories in a different way, but at its core the process feels very similar to me.
LM: “Shimmering Silver” is probably my favorite song on the album. What is your favorite song?
LO: Thanks! Glad you like it. Jeez, I think my feelings about all of them are a little too complicated for me to choose. I’m attached to why I wrote them, how they make me feel now, my bandmates’ contributions to them, how fun they are to play live…It changes a lot.
LM: That is a fair response and I can totally respect that. You’ve called Details a “sad album.” How has writing and sharing your music helped your mental health?
LO: It’s been a pretty crucial lifeline over the years. I used to struggle a lot with connecting with people, as well as generally functioning with school, jobs, etc. Having a creative outlet privately is a pretty incredible coping tool, and once I started sharing it with people it was a way to feel understood and heard in a way I hadn’t experienced otherwise. When you can share painful and isolating feelings and someone can react to it and say, “Hey, I get that!” It’s very healing.
LM: Which track was the most difficult to compose and why?
LO: Lyrically, I’d rather not say. I wouldn’t want to shatter the carefully crafted illusion of effortlessness. Musically, “Shimmering Silver” was challenging. The song is meant to move between very different emotional places in kind of a feverish way, and crafting those feelings and then stitching them together coherently took a lot
of work. Composing was a large part of that, but it took a lot of experimentation with arrangement and production as well. I’m proud of what we ended up with.
LM: You and the band are multi-talented instrumentalists, how do you decide which instruments to use for each track?
LO: We started with the instrument I wrote each song on, and went from there. We had to do some trial-and-error here and there, but for most of them we felt it out intuitively and landed in a place we were happy with.
LM: While checking our your merchandise store, I saw that you sell shirts with a capybara and a sugar glider on them. What went into the choice to feature those two animals?
LO: I felt clueless as to what to put on my shirts, so my bandmate Olivia pressed me on what was truly in my heart. Capybaras and sugar gliders are just what we found there, so we didn’t question ourselves too much.
LM: Haha, that is the perfect reason for putting random animals on shirts! Now that Details is out, are there any plans to tour to support the album?
LO: No current tour plans, but hopefully soon!
LM: We cannot wait! Thank you again for chatting with us!
Do not forget to pick up the brand new album, Details, by Lauren O’Connell on HelloMerch now and check out the album on Spotify below!