Hailing from Catalonia, Spain, but currently based in London, England, Laura Guarch is a singer-songwriter with some serious sass. Incorporating the soul of Nina Simone, the quirkiness of Björk and the fragility of Florence + The Machine, Laura is quite unique. We had a chat with her about her debut single ‘Fleeting Light’, discovering new music, future plans and much more!
Why did you decide to enter the music industry?
I have always worked in music, however, not as an original solo artist until now. In the last few years, I was touring a live-looping a cappella project around Europe, Street Vocals, in which I arranged and street-performed pop, soul and jazz hits. I also collaborated with other musicians and artists composing for performance and interdisciplinary projects. Now I’m feeling a need for self-expression. I’ve been exploring what I have to say as an artist and how to communicate that through crafting my own sound. It is what makes sense for me to be doing at this time.
Can you tell us about ‘Fleeting Light*?
‘Fleeting Light’ is my debut single release. It’s a galactic, atmospheric, vocal-led track inspired by a night looking at the starry sky from a semi-deserted island in Thailand wondering how are the old stars looking at us humans and the changes the Earth is experiencing?
At the heart of the track is this tension between natural, found sounds, electronic synths and the vocal harmonies that reviewers have said reminds them of Kate Bush, Aurora or Björk which I am very pleased about!
What was the recording and writing process like?
For a few months, I was playing around with a melody and experimenting with a vocoder with no lyrics when this idea came. Originally I’d planned to work with musicians and producers to develop it into a full recording, but suddenly we were in lockdown and it wasn’t like I could jam ideas with other musicians or be in a studio with a producer. I decided to use this time to learn about producing and ended up producing the track myself in my home studio collaborating with Chris Murphy.
It was actually a lot of fun. We were maybe more open to trying different things because we didn’t know what we were doing, like going out to our local park and sampling branches, twigs and birds to turn into drum kits.
At the same time, we were able to collaborate remotely with some great musicians getting their input as performers, but also general advice and feedback on the track. My long-term collaborator Paul Reynolds sent a bassline in and I found in Ingmar Kamalagharan, drummer and astronomer, a perfect collaborator to send some drumkit beats for the cosmic track.
When lockdown eased, I was able to record the vocals in a professional studio with Keir Vine, member of Portico Quartet who I met through a previous collaboration. We were lucky to have the producer MaJiKer doing the final mix including some fantastic work on the vocoder backing.
It took a few months to crack it, but it was a very enriching experience and now I am more prepared to keep writing and recording more!
Does the single have any significant meaning for you?
Definitely. I want my music to be a poetic chant to life and nature depicting an urgent hope that triggers us to take action over climate change. ‘Fleeting Light’ conveys that for me. The organic sounds from London parks and semi-deserted islands might make you feel you are in a magic forest you want to take care of.
What do you hope people take from your music?
Originality and a sense of beauty. A sense of being part of a whole and part of the Universe. A sense of connection with nature and a sense of responsibility for it.
What is more challenging for you – melody or lyrics?
Lyrics are generally more challenging. I was playing around with the melody of ‘Fleeting Light’ for a few months before a lyric idea clicked. I have been playing the piano and clarinet from an early age, as well as singing in choirs for all my life, so melodies come very naturally to me.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
Listening to other artists I admire live or via streaming. Seeing others doing great stuff makes me want to keep working and bettering myself. Also, the love and support I received through this release motivates me to keep creating music and following this path.
How do you describe your sound?
It’s fierce, yet meditative and immersive.
What do you think is the best way to discover music?
Streaming services like Spotify are great. The more you use it the more accurate it is finding new music you will like. However, I also love the old way of going to festivals and discovering new artists playing live.
What does the future hold for you?
In the very near future I am releasing a cool music video for ‘Fleeting Light’, so keep your eye out for that. I am also producing my second single to be released in autumn and working toward a full LP in 2021. Most of all, I’m looking forward to performing live again as soon as possible. Music for me is an experience to be shared in space and time with people.
Do you have a message for our readers?
Please listen to ‘Fleeting Light’ – you’ll love it. You can let me know what you think via Instagram or Facebook. Be in nature often, see the stars and sing. Many thanks for supporting and loving music.