For the sixth performance in the Arts Station’s fall concert series, Toronto-based musician Melissa Lauren will be performing live on Nov. 18.
Lauren released her sophomore album titled Your Mess on Oct. 27, which she is supporting in this tour of B.C. and Alberta.
“I got a Canada Arts Council Grant, so a lot of the songs were already written and then we pulled some more together that were kind of on the back burner. The grants are great because they give you the fire to finish some things that you maybe wouldn’t have finished in time. Then we recorded it over the winter,” said Lauren in an interview with The Free Press. I wanted to kind of wait for the right time to release it. Summer – there was a lot going on, so we waited until the fall.”
The tour is a mere eight days long, but Lauren plans to cover some distances, playing in Edmonton, Calgary, Salmon Arm and Invermere, along with her stop in Fernie. She will be accompanied by a variety of musicians, including guitarist Nathan Hiltz.
“In Fernie, it’s a duo, myself and a guitar – Nathan Hiltz,” said Lauren. “He worked on the album with me, played with me and we are having a baby together.”
Lauren’s music style is heavily influenced by jazz and blues, making for a wholesome sound. Her inspiration for Your Mess was to tell stories about life’s turbulent times.
“I suppose lots of crazy changes kept happening in my life. I was doing songwriting with a partner at the time and they just were inspired by change and my own life and my own stories. Life just kept falling back into these tornados and coming out of the other side of them, and that’s what a lot of the album deals with,” she said. “I had been working a lot more with these really great musicians so I was using their knowledge and expertise to up the game with the harmony a little bit and make it a little more interesting, to make it different from my first album.”
Lauren said the audience could expect to hear a collection of older and newer songs, including a few classics.
“It will be a mix of both because I started doing the songs quite a while ago, writing them and performing them. We will definitely be doing the album songs but then also new songs, because then over the summer I was refreshing the repertoire a little bit just to change it up,” she said. “So there will be some new stuff that I have been doing as well as the album songs and there are old ones and classics that I love and throw in for set enders.”
Lauren will take the stage at the Arts Station at 8 p.m. on Nov. 18. Tickets can be purchased at the Arts Station or at Freshies.