April 3, 2016




“A triumph” – 8/10, Uncut
“Ghostly wonder adorned with astonishingly beautiful EBow & strongs. A record of striking refinement.” – 9/10, Guitar & Bass
“Captivating.” – **** Mojo
“Laura Gibson sounds newly invigorated, resulting in her best record to date.” – 7.7, Pitchfork

With her new album ‘Empire Builder’ set for release  April 1st via City Slang, Laura Gibson has shared a new video & track ‘Not Harmless’.

In very simple terms, ‘Not Harmless’ is about standing up for myself: defining womanhood on my own terms” Laura explains. “It may be a critique of social expectations, but more so it’s a critique of my own behavior and insecurities. I must add that I have always always wanted to write a song in which I was the villain, to hold that sort of agency, to reimagine myself in my most self-serving no-fucks-given form. So lines like, “I’ll be the thief you forgot to chase, the bramble sprung back in the hero’s face” gave me great pleasure to write.”

Director Derrick Belcham describes the video as: “an attempt to capture a multi-angle viewpoint of the various aspects of the singer’s insecurities in the music video environment. Each of the dancers embodies a specific discomfort or complex that raises its head during the process of being on camera, exposing oneself through songwriting and ‘being’ in the world in general. Their actions reflect the shifting battle that an ego faces when the spotlight is turned on it.”

Just as Laura had begun to feel settled in New York 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.

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. AT Graz – Postgarage [Tickets]
May 06 AT Vienna – Haus Der Musik [Tickets]
May 07 CH Dornbirn – Conrad Sohm [Tickets]
Sept 02 – 04 UK End of the Road Festival – Dorset [Tickets]

Preorder links:

Other links:

Laura Gibson on Facebook
Laura Gibson on Twitter

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