New Release: Gemma Laurence – Lavender

Photo Credit: Beatrice Helman

It’s been quite a year for Gemma Laurence. After releasing her single “Adrienne” last year, the Coastal Maine-raised, Brooklyn-based DIY artist was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. To top it off, she recently had the opportunity to perform one of her original songs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

After a whirlwind few months, Laurence is finally ready to make the big announcement: she will be releasing her sophomore album, Lavender, on November 4th on Better Company Records. Alongside the album announcement, she shares the title track.

“Lavender” is an anthem for the queer and trans community, written for those who wished they had those of songs growing up. An unapologetic banger packed with moody Soccer Mommy-esque indie rock guitar melodies, pulsing rock n roll bass lines, layers of rich harmonies, and not to mention a particularly badass drum intro, “Lavender” marks a new chapter for the Sapphic folk artist. Without forgoing her signature lush acoustic soundscapes that drew listeners into the world of “Adrienne,” Laurence is going electric with her latest offering. And she’s not going back.

“Lavender” may be a song about dysphoria, trauma, and the challenges of coming out, but it’s also a song about embracing queerness and transness. And celebrating it. She wrote it on banjo for her best friend after she came out as trans. So it’s a song for Lavender, but it’s also a song for any kid or teenager or adult who feels like they didn’t (or still don’t) have the space to be themselves. In the song, Laurence sings in her low conversational tone: “A lonesome shroud of dissonance settles in your skin / In your color-coded uniforms you’re wearing to fit in / Anxiety’s a little league and fear’s a locker room / Teenage suffocation in your body’s own cocoon / And I know it’s not easy /To shed your skin and be the woman you were born to be.”

Recorded, mixed, and produced by Charles Dahlke (of The Brazen Youth) at Ashlawn Recording Company and mastered by Andrew Goldring (Juliet Sunflower, Billy Martin), “Lavender” features Will Orchard on lead guitar, Micah Rubin (of The Brazen Youth) on drums, and Charlie Dahlke on bass, backing vocals, and piano.

Gemma Laurence is a Brooklyn-based indie folk singer-songwriter from the coast of Maine. Categorizing herself as “Sapphic folk,” Laurence takes inspiration from queer femme poets and songwriters from the past and present: Adrianne Lenker, Tomberlin, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, and Sappho to name a few. A gifted songwriter with a predilection for poetry, Laurence braids imagery into her lyrics with the ease of a seasoned storyteller.