Lauren Balthrop’s Mobile, Alabama upbringing saw her soaking in the music of The Andrews Sisters, Steve Sondheim, R.E.M., Elliott Smith and Neil Young. As a child, she was involved in activities that varied from sports, to drama, to music and beyond. She never really settled on a passion, until she found acting and theater. She pursued that dream from fourth grade until after college, moving to New York to go after auditions and acting parts. She found a soft landing in the city by moving in with her brother, Pascal. The two would then go on to form the large band (they called it a traveling small town) of Balthrop, Alabama. From 2007 to 2012 they toured the country with as many as nine band members taking to the road. In this experience, she met Dawn Landes and Annie Nero, with whom she joined up for the harmony centered trio, The Bandana Splits.
In 2013, she released a solo album under the name Dear Georgiana, which referred to Georgiana Starlington, the pseudonym she used in Balthrop, Alabama (everyone went by a character name.) She called those “the songs her brother doesn’t like,” at least not for their band… After that, she wrote a bunch more songs that felt as though they were written in her own voice, which she released under her name as the album This Time Around. Her new solo album continues the sentence: Things Will Be Different. She’s exploring the themes of change, upheaval and heartbreak while looking towards the future with hope. What’s also cool for Lauren is that she’s finding new meanings in these songs that differ from their original purpose. Lauren is a curious learner who seems like she’s always got her antenna up. I love her new record: the lush sounds and humor are hitting me right. It was great to talk to Lauren in this medium! We have known each other for almost 15 years and have instigated many antics over the years. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: James Paul Mitchell