Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Sometimes things start to fall into place when you just let it happen and go with your heart. Such might be the case with Serena Lauren, a pop singer/songwriter originally from Sacramento, Calif.
She has already experienced the frustration and heartbreak that comes with the ups and downs of the music business. And somehow she emerged on the other side: older, wiser, and with a joyful desire to share her songs with anyone who cares to listen while she prepares to self-produce a follow up to In Your Doorway.
For the purposes of this work-in-progress review, we picked Pile of Teardrops from that album as a showcase. It's the strongest of her songs, featuring some Latin-flavored acoustic guitar, emotive voice, and honest lyrics that yearn: “I want to give this my everything.” It takes the listener on a journey. Sorrow. Worry. And ultimately, relief.
"I remember sitting in my tiny apartment studio in Los Angeles crying a bit of relief about something and writing this song," says Lauren. "In the song, I am praying to God and saying I thought He had abandoned me but then I realized He was there all along."
It's not the only song worth a look, as Lauren isn't a beginner. She is classically trained on the piano, self-taught on the guitar, started writing music as a teen. Some other songs to consider include Walk Away and Unlaunched Star.
She is most at home with influences from 90s alternative pop and Latin music. You can hear it in some songs, hints from the Cranberries and Shakira.
“The first songs I got really into were ‘Experiencia Religiosa’ by Enrique Iglesias, ‘Inevitable’ by Shakira and ‘Como Quisiera’ by Mana. To me, these were the most beautiful songs I had ever heard,” said Lauren. “Something about the passionate lyrics and the rhythm … I hadn’t quite heard before until these songs.”
What is interesting about her next session after a near five-year hiatus is restarting from scratch. She had grown weary, tired of writing songs about heartbreak, wondering if she was hiding behind her songs. Now, after five years of business school, she find herself thinking more about writing and singing.
“I think in my late teens and even early 20s, I was very affected by the media and had a picture in my mind of what a music career should look like,” says Lauren. “I don’t think that I really had the mindset of an artist yet. Now, my goal with music is to write songs when I have songs to write, and then to share them.”
Pile Of Teardrops By Serena Lauren Scores A 2.9 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.
On other scales, it's better than average. But it's the next outing, sometime in 2011, that really piqued our interest along with watching her regain her legs on Facebook. She has some work to do, finding her live performance footing and marrying it to her new found maturity. A few gigs in Orange County, Calif. could very well do it.
The direction seems right. Her new songs, she says, focus on what it is like to be a young adult in today’s world. You can help her out by picking up Pile of Teardrops from In Your Doorway on iTunes.