The wind is bitter and rattling round Newcastle city centre on Sunday night but a little pocket of warmth can be found in Think Tank. A crowd is gathered round the small stage to watch London’s Laurel deliver some slick pop. Following the release of her debut album Dogviolet (read our review here), she’s taken on a mammoth six week tour in celebration.
Since her beginning Laurel has drawn comparisons to pop powerhouses like Lana Del Ray and Lorde for her deep, dramatic vocals but live it becomes apparent that these comparisons are simply untrue. Laurel is far more than her voice, she’s an enigma, a siren that it’s difficult to tear your eyes away from when she gets going.
Initial nerves are shook quickly. Laurel takes on a strong presence for opener ‘All Star’. Her vocals are haunting, the guitars are elegant. There’s something distinctly grown up, even sophisticated about Laurel’s music as she strums her guitar effortlessly.
Stopping a few songs in to strip back to an acoustic guitar, she comes into her own when she has nothing to hide behind. With no full band to compete with her voice becomes more varied, tense and delicate in these few songs. There’s a fragility littered throughout Laurel’s music, the realisation that the never-ending summer romance her songs live in must eventually draw to a close.
On songs like ‘Adored’ she makes more bite than you’d expect, channeling the anger/punch of Ellie Rowsell or perhaps Courtney Barnett. When the song calls for it Laurel becomes more self assured, confidently swaying her hips to the beat, looking uninhibited.
Listen to Dogviolet right here and go check out Laurel when the Dogviolet tour rolls through a town near you.