Greetings from Mitchell, South Dakota, home of the Corn Palace (which is actually quite impressive).
I have a lot of news to share!
I’m very proud to present a new video I directed for my song, “I Don’t Want Your Voice to Move Me”, which premiered today. The song is an anchor for Goners and seems to be many people’s favorite from the record. We shot it over two days in September, across the state of Oregon, from the Zig Zag Ranger Station to the Alvord Desert. I learned so much working with our small crew/cast: Scott Ballard (DP), Asia Brown (AC), A.J. Van Loo (Drone shots), Josh Kletzkin (Editor/Colorist), and young Olivia Van Loo who joined me on camera. My mom and I made the costumes.
The nice folks at Brooklyn Vegan shared the video this morning, along with a few of my thoughts about making it. Watch here:
I’m honored to have been named a curator for Joyful Noise Records White Label Series, which highlights lesser-known favorite and forgotten artists by pressing their albums on vinyl. Other curators this year include St. Vincent and Juliana Barwick. Subscriptions to the series are limited and always sell out. I believe there are just a few left here.
I chose the record Hymns by wonderful songwriter and dear old friend Kele Goodwin. To celebrate, we’ll be playing two Oregon shows together. March 21stat Suttle Lodge, and March 23rd at The Old Church in Portland.
Kele will also have some copies of this wonderful record for sale at our 2 shows and on his Bandcamp page.
Also, excited to announce I’ll be back in New York, April 26th at the beautiful new Loft at City Winery.
This current U.S. Tour has been going amazingly well. We’ve just arrived in the Midwest. Yesterday was a big day for me. In all my touring I’d been to every state but one. Last night I finally caught up to the elusive South Dakota and joined the Fifty States Club.
A lot of new dates have been added. Check the shows tab for an updated list.
Thank you for your support, your conversations, your time.
Dear winter birds, hunker-downers, snowdrifters,
Happy New Year.
I am about to embark on a big lopsided figure-eight around the United States. I don't make it to some of these towns very often, and really hope you can join me. Word of mouth continues to be a powerful thing, and it always means so much when friends send friends to shows.
Hello from a hotel off the I-5.
Just a quick note to celebrate my final shows of the year, and to announce a few more shows this winter/spring, including shows supporting beloved Colorado songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov.
For the first half of the tour (Boise through Nashville) my backing band will consist of my crazy-talented friends Stelth Ulvang and Dorota Szuta. They'll also be opening those shows, performing Stelth's songs. I first met Stelth when he was playing in beloved Colorado band Dovekins. He's since been touring with folk-pop superstars the Lumineers and has made a few records of his own.
The second half (Georgia through San Francisco) I'll be playing solo versions of the Goners songs. I'll be sharing shows with friends Dawn Landes, Takenobu, and Dana Falconberry, then opening for the wonderful Gregory Alan Isakov.
I'll have some big announcements soon, but mostly want to share these tour dates (check the “shows” tab for updated list of dates).
One of the last things I did in 2018 was hike up to Angel's Rest in the Columbia River Gorge. The trail had just reopened after being destroyed in a massive forest fire in 2017. I was away on tour back when the fire was happening, and remember wondering if I'd ever get to hike those trails again. It was strange and sad and beautiful to be up there. So much is already growing in the burned out sections. Here is the picture:
Photo 1 (B&W): Lauren Jacobson; Photo 2: Anenome Tank
Before our New York show we stopped into one of my favorite radio stations in the world: WNYC. Watch the session here:
I’m honored and really excited to curate a release for the Joyful Noise White Label Series.
Subscription info here.
Thank you to everyone who has made it out to shows. Sharing these songs has been an incredible experience.
Dear summer-lovers, autumn-embracers,
It’s my profound pleasure to announce that my new record, Goners, will be released October 26th on Barsuk Records (US) and City Slang Records (EU/UK). You can preorder it here
I am also excited to announce the first bunch of tour dates (see below).
Today the Fader premiered a lyric video for the song “Tenderness”. Listen here, and read a few words about the record and the song
The cover of Goners is by the incredible Latvian photographer, Katrina Kepule, from her series Sit Silently. I came across the photo online, and felt an instant connection to it. The image looks like what my soul felt like when making this record. I am honored and amazed that she allowed me to use it. Please check out and support her work.
I am excited to announce a run of UK/EU shows in November, with my City Slang label-mate, wonderful Canadian songwriter, Dan Mangan. These will be very special, full-band double-headers. Tickets go on sale tomorrow. Here are the dates:
Wed, Nov 7 - Festsaal Kreuzberg - Berlin, DE
Thu, Nov 8 - Mojo - Hamburg, DE
Sat, Nov 10 - Rolling Stone Weekender - Weissenhäuser Strand, DE
Sun, Nov 11 - Gebäude 9 - Cologne, DE
Mon, Nov 12 - Botanique Rotonde - Brussels, BE
Tue, Nov 13 - Queen Elizabeth Hall - London, UK
Thu, Nov 15 - Paradiso Noord - Amsterdam, NL
Fri, Nov 16 - Petit Bain - Paris, FR
Sat, Nov 17 - Rolling Stone Park Festival - Europa-Park, Rust, DE
Tue, Nov 20 - Bogen F - Zurich, CH
Nov 22 - Bluebird Festival - Vienna, AT
Nov 23 - Conrad Sohm - Dornbirn, AT
Nov 24 - Meet Factory - Prague, CZ
San Francisco! I’m very pleased to announce I’ll be joining up with the very lovely Olivia Chaney August 16th for a night at the Swedish American Hall, presented by Noise Pop - I’ll be playing some new songs solo, and Olivia will be celebrating a new record. It’s gonna be a sweet one!
A few things I have been up to: I spent the fall and early winter tucked away in the studio, working on a new record. I can’t wait to share it with you (more on that in coming days). I poured my whole self into these new songs, took on new challenges, and ultimately remembered how transformative and soul-saving, and joyful music-making can be. Five records in, and it still feels as charged and essential and impossibly magical as ever.
Last month, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks hiking in the Himalayas, all the way to Everest Base Camp. I have wanted to visit Nepal my whole life, and finally the stars aligned to make it happen. I felt dizzy and humbled, staring at those mountains. I didn’t create anything, wasn’t scheming new ideas, I read very little, and didn’t once look at the news -- the whole experience felt meditative and dreamlike, and like a much-needed reset for my mind. It felt particularly meaningful to be there on the anniversary of the earthquake. Many of the people I met were deeply affected by damage and loss, and are still recovering. When I asked how best to help, every single person said, “Tell your friends to visit Nepal.” So, I am telling you now to visit Nepal. I can’t recommend it enough (and would be happy to point you towards some great guides).
Here is a photo from the trek (there are many, many more Nepal photos over on Instagram @lauragibsongirl )
Thanks for reading this. Hope to see you soon.
GONERS is here
My new record is finally out today, and available in all the places. I am so thankful, and kind of astounded, that making music still feels as essential and charged and life-saving now as it did when I began. Songwriting remains a strange tethering of extreme loneliness and extreme connectedness. Thank you to everyone who has listened so far, and especially those who’ve gotten in touch to tell me so. Chekhov said (or at least George Saunders said that Chekhov said) that the purpose of art is to “prepare us for tenderness”. My hope for these songs is that they help you stay tender. 🐺
Check out the NPR First listen
It’s my great honor to share my new song and video, “Domestication” via the good folks at NPR Music.
The whole GONERS record is out three weeks from tomorrow.
I was lucky enough to co-direct with the great Alicia Rose, who has taught me so much. A bunch of people worked hard to pull this off, perhaps, most significantly my mom, who sewed all the costumes and stuck around most of the day to help out. It’s an incredible feeling to dream up a wild idea, then watch it come to life.
Huge thanks to my heroes Emma Browne and Eden Dawn for their care and hard work.
Thank you to the most incredible crew and cast.
Directed by Alicia J. Rose & Laura Gibson
Editor: Alicia J. Rose
Stylist/Art Director: Eden Dawn
DP & Colorist: Sean Conley
Producer: Emma Browne
AC: Jordyn Roach
Gaffer: Liz Haan
Key Grip: Liz Vaughan
G&E Assist: Hailey Backenstos
MUAH: Claire Brooksbank
PA: B. Frayn Masters
Costume Seamstress: Catherine Gibson
B. Frayn Masters
Emily Kendal Frey
Ramona Frandina Hunt
Music, Lyrics and Arrangement by Laura Gibson
Song produced by Laura Gibson and John Morgan Askew
Engineered and mixed by John Morgan Askew
Laura Gibson - Vocals, Piano, Wurlitzer, Keyboards, Drums, Percussion
Daniel Hunt - Drums
Dave Depper - Electric Guitar Loops, Bass
Kyleen King - Violin, Viola
Kelly Pratt - Baritone Saxophone
John Morgan Askew – Additional Percussion
Grace Memorial Church, NW Film Center, Tristan Stoch, Open Signal, Either/Or Cafe, Barista Coffee, LG’s Sellwood neighbors, Look Out Bolo, Laura Burhenn, Emily Luis, Sean Ogilvie, Pat Moran, Jon Manning/Brightwater Media.
Goners is about grief, but more specifically, it’s about the ways we share our loss with others, the ways we project pain, lash out, or become cracked open by the immediacy of another person. The act of holding each others’ trauma and grief is both miraculous and messy, and those small moments of tenderness, which may appear insignificant to the outside observer, can feel epic and earth-shaking to the ones experiencing them.
It was a strange time to hide away and make something. I so often wonder about the value of songs, and if my time would be better spent protesting, or registering voters, or raising money (not that I can’t still do those things) or getting a law degree (probably won’t do that). But I’ve been saved often enough by art, to know it is, at the very least, a worthy endeavor. There’s great value in staring into the abyss, and in reckoning with our collective sorrow. With that in mind, I worked hard to make something true, something quiet and beautiful. I hope it’s helpful.
Overall, it’s perhaps my darkest, strangest record. I wanted the songs to feel like fables, to unfold in dream logic. Every singing voice on the record is mine (and at places there are many of my voices stacked and collaged). I ditched my guitar on half the songs and instead played piano and Wurlitzer, instruments I’m still shaky at (note: one way to get better on piano is to make a bet with yourself about playing all the piano on a record). I wanted to leap beyond my abilities and see where I landed.
I was happy to have long-time buddies Dave Depper, Daniel Hunt, and Nate Query on board, as well as new collaborators, the amazing Kyleen King (strings) and Kelly Pratt (horns, woodwinds). I was thankful to co-produce the record with John Askew, who worked so hard with me on Empire Builder. John is one of the most generous, talented collaborators I know.
This fall/winter I’ll be hitting the road with a full band in support of Goners. Here is the first batch of shows, with links to buy tickets. It means a lot to share these songs in person, and word-of-mouth is still the best way for people find out about my music (it’s always wonderful when folks bring friends along). Spread the word, if you wish. Do buy tickets in advance, as some of these cities will sell out.
U.S. Tour Dates
Fri Nov 2 - Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR // TIX
Sat Nov 3 - St. Mark's Cathedral - Seattle, WA* // TIX
Mon Nov 26 - DC9 - Washington, DC // TIX
Tue Nov 27 - Rough Trade - Brooklyn, NY // TIX
Wed Dec 5 - Bootleg Theater - Los Angeles, CA // TIX
Thu Dec 6 - Grand Ole BBQ - San Diego, CA // FREE
Fri Dec 7 - The Crepe Place - Santa Cruz, CA // TIX
Sat Dec 8 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA // TIX
*with Horse Feathers and Takenobu
Wed, Nov 7 - Festsaal Kreuzberg - Berlin, DE # // TIX
Thu, Nov 8 - Mojo - Hamburg, DE # // TIX
Sat, Nov 10 - Rolling Stone Weekender - Weissenhäuser Strand, DE // TIX
Sun, Nov 11 - Gebäude 9 - Cologne, DE # // TIX
Mon, Nov 12 - Botanique Rotonde - Brussels, BE # // TIX
Tue, Nov 13 - Queen Elizabeth Hall - London, UK # // TIX
Thu, Nov 15 - Paradiso Noord - Amsterdam, NL # // TIX
Fri, Nov 16 - Petit Bain - Paris, FR # // TIX
Sat, Nov 17 - Rolling Stone Park Festival - Europa-Park, Rust, DE // TIX
Tue, Nov 20 - Bogen F - Zurich, CH # // TIX
Nov 22 - Bluebird Festival - Vienna, AT # // TIX
Nov 23 - Conrad Sohm - Dornbirn, AT # // TIX
Nov 24 - Meet Factory - Prague, CZ # // TIX
#with Dan Mangan
With love and infinite gratitude,