“Feelgood vibes. I think we all need a bit of those at the moment.” – Lauren Housley on new album and homecoming show

We caught up with Sheffield-based musician Lauren Housley, who will be bringing her critically acclaimed third album ‘Girl from the North’ to Yellow Arch Studios next month.

First of all, could you introduce yourself to the Exposed readership?
Hello! I’m Lauren Housley, Yorkshire lass born and bred. I grew up in Rotherham and now live in Sheffield. I’ve recently self-released an album called Girl From The North.

An album that’s had a great response too, charting high in the Americana, Folk and Country charts respectively. How did lockdown impact the making of the record?
We literally just finished recording the album on the week of lockdown, which I suppose is pretty lucky timing. There were still a few backing vocals to do, but we just ended up doing those from our one-bedroom flat we were living in at the time during lockdown, all the while I was pregnant and expecting my first child. It was pretty crazy.

Credit: Elly Lucas

What sort of themes would you say run through the album?
Times were a bit weird for me as I was making it, actually. I’d moved from Manchester back to Rotherham after seven years. I loved my time there [Manchester] and recorded some great stuff with some great musicians. But, that said, I just felt like I needed a change and naturally felt drawn to home. Coming back lead to a lot of reflection – different memories and experiences bubbled to the surface. I drew a lot from that experience.

It must be strange having to sit on the songs for so long before you can go tour them live? You must be itching to get on a stage!
Absolutely. The tour starts in November but we’ve already done a couple of dates, which included the first gig back on the BBC Introducing Stage at Tramlines. That was pretty epic.

Americana and country music are big influences on your sound. Did that start from a young age or did it develop a bit later in your music career?
I think it was always there without me really realising it. My dad was a massive Elvis fan, which was a massive early influence – the country sounds and twangy guitars. There were other influences that came a little later on. The album Slipstream by Bonnie Raitt, which was produced by Joe Henry, I caught a BBC Live Performance of that whole album live and it just blew my mind. Also in there are Lukas Nelson, Lucius and a lot of John Smith.

Credit: Elly Lucas

You’ll be playing another homecoming gig at Yellow Arch Studios next month. For those not yet in the know, what can they expect from a Lauren Housley live show?
Feelgood vibes. I think we all need a bit of those at the moment. We want to connect with people and really celebrate that sense of interaction again. I remember going to my first proper gig back in a venue. The acoustics started and I could feel my brain literally expanding, like something had been dormant for so long. And I thought to myself: yes, this is exactly why we do it.


Lauren plays Yellow Arch Studios on Friday 10th December. Tickets (£12) are available from we got and Girl from the North is out now.

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