Los Angeles powerhouse Lauren Ruth Ward, hailed for her 70s psych-blues swagger and incomparable vocal stylings, has shared a frantically enchanting new song, “Valhalla,” via LADYGUNN. The video for the track, directed by Alli Coates, features a colorful cast of gender-bending characters, moving from a smoke-filled game of poker to a mystic dream sequence filled with snakes, milk and dumbbells.
To celebrate, a video release show will be held at Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneertown, CA on January 19. Then Lauren will embark on a US tour with LP, followed by Australian dates with the legendary Divinyls as their guest lead singer. Complete list of tour dates can be seen here.
Speaking about the themes in the song, Lauren explains:
"I view religion and mythology the same way: Thoughtful stories of gods and goddess that happen either before time or in another world that teach lessons, carve out ways to live, inspire. I've read multiple versions of Valhalla and I see it as a heaven for heroes who've died in battle. As most versions of the story go, once a warrior has made it into Valhalla, they continue to fight in battle daily but instead of death, they rejuvenate and feast in the infinite hall (called "Valhalla").”
“Since moving to LA to pursue music, my songwriting has been pulling the trauma out from me,” she continues. “Some of that resurrected trauma is coming from having to make lose/lose decisions to get myself to the peaceful state I am present day. I died many times in my battle of ‘being a straight woman’. I tried hard and often felt like I was failing at ‘being a woman’. I hurt myself and others in this personal battle. Reflecting back at the decisions I had to make, I remember the pain but I don't feel the loss. I'm now able to see I made the right choices. I have arrived to my Valhalla. I am thankful for those who've shared similar stories with me. We continue to fight in this battle daily but manage to still live. Having to fight yourself and society on who you are / what is normal is a daily battle. A definition for what is the normal way to love and live is bullshit. I remind myself of this daily and it makes me proud of myself."
Lauren had a spectacular 2018. In addition to releasing her critically acclaimed debut album Well, Hell, she has shared stages with Keith Urban, Shirley Manson, Eddie Vedder, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Shakey Graves and Liz Phair, played to sold out crowds in LA & across the US. She also celebrated Grace Slick’s birthday by releasing her rendition of Jefferson Airplane hit single “White Rabbit.” Ward’s trajectory continues to ascend with accolades from NYLON, Noisey, Consequence of Sound, The Los Angeles Times, Indie Shuffle and Wonderland. She was also featured on on Spotify's New Music Friday Playlist, along with American Apparel as a part of their “Meet Lauren” campaign.
A prolific artist in every medium she touches, Lauren has been a hairstylist for 9 years, while at the same time shifting her creative focus to her music in partnership with her co-writer and guitarist Eduardo Rivera. On Well, Hell, Lauren’s arresting vocals slice through classic rock instrumentation delivered through the perfect modern filter of her band. “Did I Offend You?” and “Blue Collar Sex Kitten”are two of the many standout tracks on the album, showcasing the duo’s intricate yet playful songwriting and lyrical wit. Stay tuned for more opportunities to experience the band’s effervescent brand of modern psych-pop in a city near you!
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