The day Laurel stopped by to visit the NYLON offices, it was a sweltering 90-plus degrees outside. A massive change for the London singer, who came to the city slightly unprepared (and overdressed), accustomed to the dreary English weather. So, her first stop in Manhattan? Soho’s Topshop outpost, ironically enough.
“I know I shouldn’t go to Topshop since we have a billion in England, but it’s hard because it’s just all so cute and perfect,” she says with a laugh and pointing at her newly acquired black dress. Girl after our own heart, much?
Already well-known overseas, the 19-year-old is steadily making her way stateside, popping up on music blogs over the past couple of months for her slow-burning, cinematic jams like “To The Hills,” “Shells,” and “Fire Breather.” A little bit Lana, a little bit Lorde, and a little bit Laura Marling, her smoky, intimate-sounding vocals and ethereal melodies are instantly seductive.
Now that her EP To The Hills has finally dropped in America and she’s fresh off a handful of New York showcases, it’s only a matter of time before everyone else falls under her spell. “I feel like I’ve played all sorts of shows in London, but I didn’t know to expect in America, becuase I didn’t know if people actually knew my music,” she explained. But luckily, she didn’t have to worry one bit. “Yeah, a lot of people showed up and they actually knew the words. It was great.”
Her EP was self-produced and self-recorded in her old childhood bedroom in the tiny town of Southhampton. “I wrote ‘To The Hills’ at like, 2 in the morning, and I immediately knew it was going to be something.” Shortly after, she recorded the single live with an entire orchestra (“the coolest thing I’ve done so far, ever”), taking the track’s expansive quality to the next seriously gorgeous level.
This is only a small taste of what’s to come, as the singer will be bopping around the U.K. playing shows until her album drops early next year--but no matter where you live, get hooked on Laurel’s new single “Shells” below.