Dublin songstress Laura Elizabeth Hughes shares stories through her music – that is her aim. We had a moment to chat with her about her single ‘For You (Home)’, the video for ‘For You (Home)’ and her future plans.
Why did you choose to become a musician?
It wasn’t really a conscious choice. Music, songs and words have always just been a part of me. Maybe in the realising how big a part of me they were; maybe that was me choosing to act on the need to create.
What can you tell us about your release ‘For You (Home)’? Does it have any personal significance?
Of course! Almost everything I release has personal significance. This particular song is written for a very good friend of mine. It’s about banding together. It’s about it being ok to be struggling and that there will always be someone there to carry you home when you feel like your legs can’t carry the weight anymore.
What was the recording process like for the single?
It was a slow build making sure each element had its purpose and was telling its sonic story in the most honest way it could. It went from a piano song to something soaring as a produced track. There was a lot of making things sound huge, a lot of pushing things too far and saying “ok, now bring it back and let it settle into its groove”.
You have also released a music video for ‘For You (Home)’. What can you tell us about the video?
The video was a weekend spent in Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow in Ireland with some beautiful people. I had known I wanted another person in a video, a dancer since I had started penning the song over a year ago. It chronicles a moving from allowing the darkness to overwhelm and rule you to accepting its existence alongside the light and sharing the load with those around you.
I released the video in support of the Pieta House charity in Ireland. The charity has recently had to postpone the annual ‘Darkness Into Light’ event due to Covid-19 so I wanted to use the video to help in some way, so that they can continue their amazing work in supporting people and communities affected by suicide, self-harm and bereavement.
Was recording the video complicated?
Not particularly no. The video’s director, Peadar Gill, worked his magic. We shot in two locations: a cattle-mart and a B&B. It wasn’t a high budget production, but it was a clever one. I guess the sequencing of things would have been the only complicated thing, getting each shot done in the correct order.
Who decided on the concept of the video?
Peadar and I, with a chunk of input from the dancer herself (Taylor Graham). It was a baseline from myself and Pe, and a wholly collaborative effort. Then, sometimes you need a different point of view on the idea, like Taylor’s, especially if her movement was to be the backbone of the video.
Who or what inspires you from a personal and professional level?
How people navigate this world and what it throws at them or hands them. The cards people have been dealt and how they react and respond, that inspires me.
Musically? Beautiful folk storytellers. I began my love affair with songwriting when I discovered Laura Marling, Regina Spektor, Villagers, Fionn Regan, Noah and The Whale, and the wordsmith talents of Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits. Waits’ song ‘Take It with Me’ is one of my all-time favourite songs – “In a land, there’s a town and in that town, there’s a house and in that house, there’s a woman. And in that woman, there’s a heart I love. I’m gonna take it with me when I go”. Just beautiful.
How would you describe your music to a new fan?
Folk or folk-pop. Live, its guitar, vocal, and sometimes piano. I’d love to hear what other people hear me as though!
What can we expect from Laura Elizabeth Hughes in the future?
Ah, more music. I’ll have gigs at the end of the year around November/December time with a new single coming out next month (22nd May). Keep an eye on lauraelizabethhughes.com and all the social media sites.
Do you have any message for your fans and potential fans?
Come listen! Come share some stories with me!