Lauren Piper (Vowels) interview + song battles discussion
Way back when, I critiqued music (I still do, I guess). I cannot recall the name of this one band I gave a negative review of, but I remember what I said: 'This is so depressing that I slit my wrists and am now bleeding out all over my desk. Seek help.'
Look, I am not proud of that line at all. It's not witty or clever, and I can see that it is not a helpful criticism. But I am pretty sure I did not deserve the hatred I received in an online forum after the review was published. Someone said they would kill me, someone said my family were going to die, someone told me to actually slit my wrists for real. It was pretty brutal.
Yet despite this, being a music critic taught me a lot of things. One: it improved my writing. Two: it is easy to become a music snob.
These are two lessons Lauren Piper learned too. Trawling through releases from amateur bands, all the way through to Lily Allen, and the brilliant 'Honky Tonk Bedonkadonk', Lauren soon developed a good musical bullshit meter.
Yet despite the tsunami of mediocrity coming her way, Lauren never lost faith. Now, with influences from The Pixies, Velvet Underground and more, Lauren fronts the musical project AEIOU (which is actually pronounced 'Vowels').
AEIOU - it's pronounced Vowels
For Lauren, the term 'musical project' is probably the most accurate, given that the lineup of Vowels changes all the time. But there is one constant to Vowels - the power of Lauren's vulnerable, stripped-back songs.
Armed with a range of pedals and effects, Lauren/Vowels put on some powerful, hard-hitting performances of songs that run a fine line between artsy and plain weird. It's wonderful.
On this episode, we talk about moving from Washington DC, to New York, and now to Berlin; how you can easily become a music snob; and the musical ambitions for Vowels going forward (including a bunch of collaborations).
Also on the episode: song battles, good or bad?
There are a bunch of good musicians out there. So how do we find out who is best? FIGHT!
Or is that wrong? Should musicians compete in such a way? Should the idea of song battles be re-thought?
To see what musicians today think of song battles, I went back and spoke with some of the previous guests of BPM Pod: Moves Johnson, Lisa Akuah, Iadora Johnson, and Tara C Taylor.
Their answers certainly differ, and that's totally fine, as the issue of whether song battles are good or bad is a pretty complex one. But what do you think? Let me know!
About this episode:
It is Free