Gorgeous simplicity can calm storms; like a good bourbon it can help you forget your worries for a bit, turn your stress inside out and let you walk while you were crawling. Maybe you were aimless, and you still are, but you hear Lauren O'Connell and you find it comforting to know someone around you isn't. Perhaps you lost sight of things. Listening to her won't give you your sight back (she's not jesus) but you may forget for a time that you can't see.
She has the kind of voice that makes you take your ipod off of shuffle. The kind of inflection that makes chairs turn on The Voice. A subtle rasp that reassures your concern of sonorous maturity. At this point I've already grabbed my dancing shoes - who doesn't like a good cover song now and again? Like a good red wine, a 30-year scotch, perhaps a fine aged cheddar cheese you can feel and experience the time spent lingering in Lauren's songs. It's been said she's done her time sitting in chairs getting her start in coffee houses riding around Rochester, NY with a guitar and, well, that's just about it. I would imagine the musical simplicity left too much room for ghosts and, bound for California (as we all are at heart), she burnt her old house down and now we've found ourselves here at Quitters with a full band, piano and a seriously professional sound.
Not the typical scratchy pulled together sound of bandcamp recorded in someone's mom's bathroom, clearly there's some professional influence here. I hear Ben Gibbard, Norah Jones, Tori Amos, Wilco and even a little Bob Dylan. I guess it's no surprise she's done some notable covers of some of these artists.
Sometimes music gets busy and it's great. Like in the end of If Found/Gravity, a lot of things are happening, opportunities building, progress mounting, relationships developing, events bouncing and working off of one another. But all of the sudden you notice the track has changed when you remember old times, old friends, old spots, old thoughts. Your pants now have holes at the knees, the books you loved are dusty in the basement. Things get quiet and you can hear your own heart again. It weighs your decisions rightly with nothing to hide your blemishes. In this way, to give the heart an open forum to speak can be brutal. But without it you can't find that clean musical sense and you lose your way.
This is what music like Lauren's is for. Like all good acoustic/folk/alt country/intelligent rock there is a touch of melancholy unresolved, a grief explored, love lost, slow groove, tasty but subtle choices and a leading intimate voice breaking open a theatre for musical feeling and inviting you in to the story. The story is why I want to keep listening to this girl.