Often called ‘the beaver state’ and known for things like being a hipster hot-spot, the shipping town of Portland, Oregon, is something pretty special. Other than the hipsters and the beavers, Portland is the home Lore City. Formed in 2011, duo Laura Mariposa Williams and Eric Angelo Bessel began sharing their art-rock music with the world. We had a chance to speak with Williams about the new single ‘Into Your Blue’ and much more!
OSR: How did you choose the name Lore City?
Williams: I’m fascinated by the idea of tale types in folklore—that people keep living out the same stories over and over again. Everyone is going through life as if they’re in a movie, playing out various archetypes, externalizing and internalizing their story. We chose the name Lore City because being part of this world can really be summed up by those two words.
OSR: If you had to define your sound in one sentence what would that be?
Williams: Lore City’s music is art-rock in the truest sense – avant-garde ballads for the soul searchers.
OSR: Both band members are multi-instrumentalists, but what instrument would you like to learn that you do not already play?
Williams: I would like to deepen my understanding of live vocal effect manipulation. This will mean learning to use some new equipment, including a combination of sequencer, sampler, and looper. As Lore City’s sound continues to develop and involve more electronic tools, I have opportunities to step away from playing instruments and focus on the vocal textures.
OSR: What do you think is your best release to date?
Williams: Our new album, Alchemical Task, is definitely our most cohesive release. We always feel like our new release is the best one yet.
OSR: What advice do you have for upcoming artists?
Williams: Be true to yourself, embrace your originality and follow your intuition. Capture your songs as best you can in the moment knowing that a song is never finished – it breathes and changes over time and that’s a good thing. Don’t hold yourself back, keep moving forward. The most important task is to always be making new work.
OSR: Can you tell us a bit about ‘Into Your Blue’?
Williams: ‘Into Your Blue’ is by far the most upbeat song we’ve ever written, and I’m sure some listeners weren’t expecting this type of sound from Lore City. The song told us it wanted to create an ecstatic, anticipatory feeling, so we let it. I try not to overthink what I’m doing; I like to keep the channels open.
What was the recording and writing process of ‘Into Your Blue’ like?
Williams: We developed the instrumentation first because it took me a while to figure out how to sing the lyrics. Often, I’ll practise a song over and over before I record it, but ‘Into Your Blue’ was different. What you hear in the recording is a series of improvisational vocal takes. When that happens, I don’t even feel like I’m in control – it’s like some force is working through me.
OSR: What do you hope people take from your music?
Williams: I hope people take from my music what I have received from my favourite music – a sense of wonder, a feeling of being understood and probably some dancing. Music has enhanced my life in innumerable ways and that is what inspires me to make it. I hope that when people listen to Lore City, they feel a little less alone.
OSR: If you had to win one million dollars what would you do with it?
Williams: Eric and I would probably build a little house and invest the rest. If we leave this world with any money left to give, we’ve talked about how we could create a trust fund for a promising artist. I’d love to enable another creative person to just focus on their artmaking.
OSR: Pineapple on pizza – yay or nay?
Williams: It’s like you knew – that is my absolute favourite topping. I recommend pairing it with olives. I know it sounds weird, but trust me.
OSR: How do you feel the current coronavirus lockdown has influenced musicians and their careers?
Williams: The lockdown has entirely changed the world of music for artists. Most musicians make their living from touring and that’s come to an abrupt stop. It’s just like everyone else who has lost their job. As we are forced inside our homes, I think some bands will erode while others find inspiration. It all depends on how being at home is conducive to your situation.
OSR: What do you think is the most important goal every person should have?
Williams: I think taking care of yourself is the foundation from which everything else is created. Tend to your body, mind and soul. Find healthy foods you like to eat and some form of exercise that brings you joy. Do things, however big or small, that quiet your mind and strengthen your soul. And give yourself a break – life is about patience and persistence, not perfection.
OSR: What can we expect from Lore City in the future?
You can expect many more releases without so much time between them. We’re already recording songs for our fourth album. One day, look out for a Lore City tour through a totally transformed world. We have a special vision for 2022.