– ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM ‘EMPIRE BUILDER’
– OUT APRIL 1ST 2016 ON CITY SLANG
– HEAR NEW SINGLE ‘THE CAUSE’ NOW
– UK TOUR IN APRIL
In late summer of 2014, following the release of her highly praised 2012 album La Grande, Laura Gibsonpacked her things and moved from Portland to New York to study Creative Writing and have some time away from music. For the first part of that journey she took the “Empire Builder”, a legendary train that connects the Pacific North West with Chicago.
Just as she’d begun to feel settled, on March 26, 2015, her apartment building in the Lower East Side blew up from a gas explosion, killing two & injuring many. Laura was unharmed, but lost almost all that she owned and had been working on. All identification, musical instruments, stacks of notebooks, and every word she had written in the past several years was reduced to a pile of rubble.
She spent the next few months rebuilding her life, bouncing between friends’ couches and guest rooms, and finishing her second semester, and all the while rewriting the lyrics she had lost, a recovery made possible by the help and support from hundreds of friends, fans, and strangers.
Now, she presents her new album, aptly titled Empire Builder, and set for release on April 1st through City Slang. Today she has shared the album’s opening track, ‘The Cause’.
Equally raw and focused, Empire Builder captures a life blown open: an individual mid-transformation. Gibson’s most personal record to date, it marks a huge leap forward as a songwriter, composer and producer.
She gathered a stellar band of dear old friends: guitarist/bassist Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie, Menomena), drummer/percussionist Dan Hunt (Neko Case), and composer/violinist Peter Broderick. Other contributors include Nate Query of The Decemberists and vocalist Alela Diane. Gibson co-produced the record with John Askew (Neko Case, The Dodos), spending her school breaks in his home studio, and in Broderick’s studio on the Oregon Coast. With Askew’s encouragement, Gibson returned to the recordings soon after the explosion. Having lost her guitar, which she had played on every record and show since the beginning, they decided to keep many of the scratch tracks from the original demos, building around them to create the final album.
Within her fiction studies in grad school, Gibson is finding her legs as a storyteller. Amidst trauma, loss and recovery, she rediscovered songwriting as a means of understanding her own life and choices. Empire Builder grapples with independence, womanhood, solitude, connection and aloneness. If Gibson has a thesis, it’s perhaps within the final words of the title track: “Hurry up and lose me / Hurry up and find me again.” With clear-eyed honesty, urgency and warmth, Empire Builder succeeds in capturing the moment between loss and rediscovery.
Laura Gibson live dates:
Apr 22 BE Brussels – Huis 23@AB [Tickets]
Apr 23 NL Utrecht – Tivoli Vredenburg Cloud [Tickets]
Apr 25 UK Manchester – Soup Kitchen [Tickets]
Apr 26 UK London – Hoxton Bar & Kitchen [Tickets]
Apr 27 FR Paris – Point Ephemere* w/Grant-Lee Phillips [Tickets]
Apr 28 NL Amsterdam – Tuinzaal, Paradiso Noord [Tickets]
Apr 29 NL Nijmegen – Marienburg Church [Tickets]
Apr 30 BE Gent – Trefpunt [Tickets]
May 01 BE Lessines – Roots and Roses Festival [Tickets]
May 02 DE Berlin – Kantine am Berghain [Tickets]
May 03 DE Leipzig – Werk 2 [Tickets]
May 05.05 AT Graz – Postgarage [Tickets]
May 06.05 AT Vienna – Haus Der Musik [Tickets]
May 07.05 DE Stuttgart – Laboratorium [Tickets]
Empire Builder tracklist:
1. The Cause
2. Damn Sure
3. Not Harmless
4. Empire Builder
5. Five and Thirty
6. The Search for Dark Lake
7. Two Kids
10. The Last One
Praise for La Grande (2012, City Slang):
“A varied and hugely absorbing record.” – **** Q
“Curiously beautiful…. The songs crackle and sparkle with instrumentation–including vibes, woodwind, marimbas, pump organ and piano–with layers of Gibson’s distinctive voice, girlish and pretty, but cracked and splintered like glass.” – **** Mojo
“Squeaking with the glamour of a rusty gramophone, [it] flashes with delicate splendor…Gibson’s voice is 100 per cent her own.” – 8/10, NME
“An alluring blend of analogue alt. country and contemporary new folk.” – **** Uncut
“There’s certainly a tender touch to her original indie-folk-country songs but also a satisfying surreal bite that means they’re never lightweight or syrupy” – **** Metro
“Often acoustic yet richer, and more rambunctious, than most folk acts” – **** The Evening Standard
“An album from far away that should capture a place in your heart.” – **** The Sun
“The sound of a confident artist stretching her own limits, without losing sight of the warmth, richness, subtlety and haunted beauty that made her worth celebrating in the first place.” – NPR
“Rather than another exercise in genre-dabbling and dilettantism, La Grande succeeds as a cohesive work hanks to the persistence of Gibson’s vision.” – Pitchfork