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L.P. is one of those women you just want to be. Upon entering the WERS studio, an air of confidence exuded from her body. Wearing a beat up jean jacket, skinny jeans, dark sunglasses, and carrying instrument cases, it seemed as if she was ready to get down to business. Once in the studio, she laughed and joked around with her accompanists the entire time, leading up until the actual recording. And then when it was time, she let loose.
L.P., or Laura Pergolizzi, has been active making pop/rock music since 2001 when her first album, Heart Shaped Scar, was released. Following that was the release of Suburban Sprawl & Alcohol in 2004, and a trip to the South by Southwest music conference in 2006. Here, she sparked a “bidding war” between record labels which resulted in her signing with L.A. Reid at Island Records. But she has just recently moved to Warner Brothers with the same person that she turned down at one of the major labels during this “war”. On this turn of events, she said, “I got a second chance with him, which is really nice and not that common and I respect that a lot.” Known for being down to earth and genuinely excited about her music, it did not come as a surprise that she was so grateful for this additional opportunity.
L.P. played a three-song set for this recording session. First up was “Levitator”, which grabbed many of us in the studio and didn’t let go. The power and clarity of the voice that just erupted from L.P. was amazing, carrying lyrics like, “You went and put me on a bigger stage/ Made me wanna go and live again/ Not afraid/ I’m not afraid.” It would not be unusual to get chills, and believe momentarily that you are flying in some ephemeral, spiritual way. Next up was the song “Tokyo Sunrise” which was the most vocally impressive of the set. The notes produced, were long, high, and crystal clear – conveying a sense of earnestness that imbued the lyrics with a higher sense of emotion and frenetic energy. Last in the set was “Into the Wild”, which was released as a single in May of this year. It may have been that song you heard during the Citibank Commercial featuring the rock-climbing couple, that sent you running to your phone to open your Soundhound App to figure out whom it was by before it was over. The choice of this song for this commercial makes sense – as the featured woman during the commercial summits a rocky peak, and the camera pans 360 degrees surveying the spectacular view, the song crescendos into the chorus once more, with thundering drums and L.P.’s large, full voice: “Somebody left the gate open/ You know we got lost on the way/ Come save us a runaway train/ Goin insane.”
With powerful lyrics like these and the outward appearance of L.P. herself, confidence becomes her defining word. However, when asked about the recent upswing in activity in her career and if it made her nervous, she laughed and explained, “Yeah, but I usually never get nervous. Recently things have gotten a little more crazy for me doing like, Jimmy Kimmel, and I just did Letterman on Wednesday. Those things scare me, to be honest. I’m kind of a perfectionist, just vocally, like I gotta get every single solitary thing right… Now when you play Letterman it’s on YouTube forever… for ever and ever and ever and ever.” This is a lot coming from a woman who has written or co-written songs for big name artists like Rihanna, Backstreet Boys, and Christina Aguilara, just to name a few.
But now it is her time to shine as the talented artist she is. She is incredibly busy, as usual, admitting: “We’ve been touring so much that we haven’t been able to put any of the new songs I’ve written in the set to see if they work. Every time I’m not touring I’ve been writing. I’m trying to. Pretty soon we’re gonna close this record. I want to have the best record that I can and have the tightest 11 or 12 songs that I can. We’re writing until the bitter end.”