BY LESLEY HASTINGS
With new music on the way very soon (more about that later!) what better time to find out a bit more about US independent artist Laura Mustard? Her journey into music is pretty unique and very interesting I think you’ll find.
Born and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut, Laura played classical piano and percussion, giving her an early love of rhythm and syncopation which is still evident in her own music.
However, much of her childhood was spent navigating doctors’ offices and medical routines at home as a result of being born with a cluster of birth defects called VATER syndrome, a complex condition that affects several parts of the body. Each case is unique, and these challenges led to Laura’s habit of making up stories in her head as a means of escape, which later turned into songwriting in high school.
The community of musicians she met after moving to Massachusetts for graduate school led to her joining the jam band Stillbridge as their piano player and the classic-rock band The SilverTone5 as their drummer and through these bands Laura played all over the Connecticut and W. Massachusetts music scenes. She found a similar feeling of community with other songwriters when visiting Nashville for the first time in 2013, and moved there permanently two years later.
Since then she has released her first EP ,”Treehouse” , which has garnered over 50k streams to date, had her first co-writing cut, “Colour Will Come”, with UK country artist Sabine, and last year her debut album “Typewriter “ was picked up by Ditty TV. Oh and she has learned how to play banjo too!
Laura’s unique medical history has led to a search for self-acceptance and a fierce belief in body positivity, which can be particularly challenging when searching for a connection with a partner, and these themes turn up regularly and frequently throughout the six tracks on her upcoming EP “Dirty Minds & Wild Hearts”, available this winter. Featuring songs that lean into the genres of Americana, Irish Folk and Motown, Laura describes the EP as telling the story of “my not-so-stellar dating life in my 20s”. She continues to explain how she was “balancing trying to be open and vulnerable while also developing self-acceptance around the ways my body works differently after being born with birth defects“. It’s a struggle between insecurity and honesty that she hopes others can relate to.
The new project’s lead single “Like Home” will be released next Friday, 11th August. Recorded at producer Wilson Harwood’s Elevated Music Studio in East Nashville it is a song that has apparently been a fan favourite when performed at writers’ rounds for years . Featuring Laura playing piano live and session musicians (again, playing live) on fiddle, banjo, mandolin and drum, the upbeat, acoustic track is filled with the comforting images of porch lights and kitchen tables as Laura sings about unrequited love and feelings for a friend who feels “like home”. Having had a sneak preview of the song I’m really excited to hear the EP in its entirety, and hopefully get the chance to interview Laura in the near future.
More artist information and links to Laura’s socials can be found here – http://www.lauramustard.com