Lauren Zettler’s live album gives somber folkpop teeth

Artist: Lauren Zettler
Album: Live in L.A.

Soundling vocally like a younger Paula Cole or Vanessa Carlton,  Zettler comes across as a somber, mature folk artist. When she lets loose on tracks like “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” (a cover of a Bob Dylan tune) and “Over My Head,”  her midwestern drawl begins to show its teeth, and her bittersweet lyrics and melodies grab your throat.  The fact that she performs with a live band on this album (mandolin, clarinet, drums, percussions) greatly increases the tonal variety of the music here. From jump-up rock-n-roll to tender folk ballads. “Thank You” is a quick, folksy ditty  that would put the Indigo Girls to shame. And then there’s the Radiohead cover “Creep” which encapsulates her alienation in a pretty package with ribbons and bows.

She changes tempo midway through some of her tracks, bringing surprises along the way (which her band gets through without a hitch). You can tell that she’s trying to make music that lasts, that aims for something greater than a 4-minute track on a CD.  Look past the limitations of her guitar playing,  and the live recording’s imperfections (clipping /distortion at some of the louder sections) and you will find a fearless young artist baring her aspirations and experiences on the stage for all to hear. To listen is to feel voyeuristic anxiety. Am I supposed to hear this? Or is this a private conversation between her and the universe? Turns out it’s both. And we are lucky to be included in the audience.  Bravo, Lauren.

Note: The YouTube video above is footage taken on her recent “Midwest or Bust” tour.

7 MP3s, encoded at 128 kbps, 44.1 kHz stereo. Zip file is approx. 30 MB in size.

Download the free album (approx. 30 MB ) by signing up for her artist newsletter on her website.

Artist Website:


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