Laura Elizabeth Hughes is an Irish songwriter who has been releasing music since 2013. Her latest track ‘Pandemonium’ is an honest and stripped back folk song. We sat down with Laura Elizabeth Hughes (LEH) about the latest single, her music and much more!
OSR: What is unique about your music?
LEH: From my own head, I don’t know to be honest but people who have seen me play, comment on the flow between power and tenderness. So, I guess the balance that I create between strength and vulnerability in both my writing and performance.
OSR: Who has influenced your music?
LEH: Wide open question. Everybody that comes in and out of my life, in whatever form that is, inspires what I do. Musically, I listen to a mad mix of music but there is a lot of folk in my life, stuff that’s stuck to me since I was a teenager; Laura Marling, Frightened Rabbit, Manchester Orchestra, and our homegrowns Glen Hansard, Damien Rice etc.
I read a lot, and how other people express themselves through writing makes me want to write stories in beautiful ways. I think my entire life and everything that happens in and around it influences my music.
OSR: Will you be releasing a video for ‘Pandemonium’?
LEH: I released a live video a few weeks ago, a video of the one take that ended up being the released audio. I had plans and Covid19 scuppered those, but I’d love to get a video on the go for it.
OSR: Of your own music, do you have a favourite song?
LEH: I do actually. I’ve got a favourite that’s my favourite to play, that’s ‘Another Side of Conversation’ which isn’t recorded. My favourite in a “this is my favourite thing I’ve written” way and that’s ‘Sophie’ which is on my Ceremony EP.
OSR: Once lockdown is over, do you have plans to tour?
LEH: It’s been very hard to plan at the moment, kinda just been taking things day by day to a certain extent. I have a show that was re-scheduled from April to November 13th so that’s something that’s happening. I’m not sure what’ll happen next year, the UK has been my main port of call for out of Ireland gigging, but with the new artist visa requirement coming in from January 2021 I don’t know how it will affect what I’m able to financially do!
So, basically, watch this space. Being on stage and connecting with people new and old is my favourite thing in the world, so there will be stuff happening, it’s just a matter of when and how!
OSR: What is the most useless talent you have?
LEH: Well, it’s not useless to me, but I have a serious ability of forgetting a cup of tea I’ve made and then finding it at the most perfect temperature where it’s still hot but you can take big gulps. The most satisfyingly useless talent!
OSR: Do you enjoy recording and production?
LEH: I do, I’m not the most technically minded music human though, so inevitably I’ll be working with people who know a hell of a lot more than I do, and that is the most wonderful thing ever. I love watching people do things they’re good at and learning from them.
OSR: How do you go about writing a song?
LEH: I just try to start. Sometimes stuff falls from the sky and you just sit and write and the words follow each other in a serious flow. Sometimes it’s words first, sometimes it’s a little chord progression, sometimes they all happen at the same time. Sometimes it also doesn’t happen!
OSR: What draws you to your preferred genre?
LEH: The human element of it. I’ve always been a fairly emotionally full person, and I remember before I got into music feeling quite alone and a little mad in my feelings. Then I found Joni Mitchell, Damien Rice, and Glen Hansard, and Frightened Rabbit, and it just clicked. I had been writing a lot, just ramble writing prose and poetry, trying to turn the feels into something tangible and when I found those artists I had such an aha! moment. My brain turned and said, “you’re not mad, you’ve just got to turn life’s happenings into stories and sing them”.
OSR: If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
LEH: To just be a bit freer, to not be so afraid of failing that she never gets out of the starting blocks. I’d tell her that she’s right, not everybody is going to like you or what you do but to focus on those who do instead. I’d tell her to buy a piano way earlier than I did and I’d tell her to practice and practice and hone her craft far earlier.