Stephanie Lauren turns heartbreak into electropop with Ladysse

Jul 11, 2018 at 1:00 am
Stephanie Lauren, aka Ladysse.
Stephanie Lauren, aka Ladysse. Raymond Rivard

If there's anything that multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Stephanie Lauren has mastered along with music, it's new beginnings. Originally from San Francisco, Lauren says she has bopped around the country a few times in the past decade, and eventually landed in Detroit simply because of the feeling the city gave her. "I just like change," she says. "I'd been here a couple times before and the city and people just felt really cool."

Flying by the seat of her pants, Lauren uprooted her life in Nashville, and her successful indie-folk project, Golden Youth, to start a new life in Detroit a year ago. In the short time that she's been in Detroit, she started a new power-pop project, Ladysse, and finished her first EP, titled Not the One, capturing the attention of local and national audiences with her electrifying pop anthems.

Music runs deep in Lauren's family, and she was initiated into the family tradition from a young age, taking piano lessons from age 7 all the way into her early twenties. It was during this time that Lauren experimented with learning different instruments and the intricacies of writing music. The beauty of Not the One is her ability to blend her skill of being a technical musician with easily digestible lyrics and melodies — arguably the best ingredients for a killer pop song.

Lauren teamed up with Nashville producers Andrew Hansen and Aaron Ruiz to turn a body of work she had written into a lush and seamless group of songs that replay the timeless story of love and loss in Lauren's own language. What Lauren refers to as a "breakup album" can maybe even better be described as a "recovery album" — instead of lamenting on the pain of a broken heart, Lauren channels all the unlucky-in-love feelings into powerful anecdotes for surviving the aftermath.

Lauren wrote and co-produced every song on the EP, save for "Stay Apart," a song that she says really struck a chord with her, even though she didn't write it. "I was going through a super weird, bad breakup time in life and my friend Phil was like, 'I'm working on this song," she says. "It was my first time working on someone else's song, but I connected to it so strongly just because of where I was at in life."

The song is a stick-to-your-guns post-breakup dance song, where Lauren convinces her ex-lover, and maybe herself, that the two of them have no chance of getting back together. Coming from a voice as strong as Lauren's, the song carries even more weight, and there's no doubt the listener can hear how much Lauren connects to it.

Following in the steps of pop princesses like Charli XCX and Katy Perry, Lauren is paving her way by writing with unabashed emotion and punchy arrangements. Surrounded by other local pop powerhouses like Flint Eastwood and Tunde Olaniran, Lauren is in good company in Detroit.

Ladysse will release Not the One on Friday, July 20 at the Loving Touch; 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; Doors at 8 p.m.; Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

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