On hearing the music from inimitable singer-songwriter LP’s album Forever For Now, a friend of hers — also a singer-songwriter — sent her a note summarizing her reaction.
“She said, ‘This record is triumphant,’” LP says. “Then she wrote, again, in all capitals, ‘TRIUMPHANT!’ “I was really touched to hear it described that way. Sometimes you get worried when you have an album that’s finished and you’re showing it to your friends to see what they’re first reaction is, especially a songwriter friend.”
Anyone who’s ever seen her in concert — from L.A. clubs filled with rabid fans to a breakthrough, buzz-building appearance at the Austin City Limits Festival — or much-viewed viral videos of her effervescent performances knows that’s completely how she is. Especially for someone who plays the ukulele — a rocking ukulele, to go with her voice, a complex instrument of power and control.
It’s what brought her a place on Esquire’s rising-stars roster, led Vogue to gush about her “penetrating voice” and “swagger” and unleashed a wave of glowing praise from Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times, CNN, USA Today, Billboard and many others. And it spurred famed instrument maker Martin to tab her as a future force to be reckoned with, honoring her as both its first woman Ambassador and first ever to be associated with ukulele. At the core of all this is a rich, full, engaging world of art, emotion, spirit and…. music.
Produced by Rob Cavallo, Warner Bros. Records chairman and Grammy Award-winning producer of landmarks from Green Day to My Chemical Romance to the Dave Matthews Band, Forever For Now brings to the fore the distinctive talents of LP, both as a writer and performer. Enlisting her favorite collaborators, including Isa Summers (a.k.a. Florence and the Machine), PJ Bianco, Billy Steinberg and Josh Alexander, she has struck a tone that can only be called inspirational. Such songs as “Heavenly Light,” “Tokyo Sunrise” and “Into the Wild” (the one that grabbed your ears the instant you heard it in the CitiBank TV commercial) are brightly hopeful, the work of an artist always expanding, always reaching deeper.
LP’s passion for music began in New York where she was born. Despite being raised in a “family where she was encouraged to pursue a career in law or medicine,” her mom loved to sing, and music became a constant presence and pursuit as she grew up.LP began taking inspiration from a range of artists — Jeff Buckley, Kurt Cobain, Chrissie Hynde, Joni Mitchell, Robert Plant, Jim Morrison, to name but a few; the voices, the wordplay, the swagger, all these things stood out for her.
Like many before her, LP has been down the major label road, having previously signed deals that did not fit, leading LP to believe an artist career may not be for her. During those years, LP fell into a career as a songwriter penning such hits as Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That)” and Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful People.” However, the artist world came calling again in late 2011 after LP began to draw crowds from what she describes as “fun, low-key” appearances at local LA clubs such as Bardot and Sayers.
In 2012, LP released the dynamic Live at EastWest Studios EP on Warner Bros Records, showing the power and prowess she’d earned as a performer from earlier times barnstorming the country — “250 shows a year, driving around the country in a tiny van.” That’s the standard she and Cavallo took to the studio. With the live EP, Cavallo’s goal was to present to people that this artist was not a studio invention, that LP is the real deal. The same approach was used when recording the full-length record, titled Forever For Now, slated for release in May of 2014.
“Rob wanted to bring out my voice, which I think he did,” she says. “He was adamant the key instrument was my voice; and, that it should be the main vehicle throughout the record.”
But to showcase that voice, Cavallo enlisted a variety of approaches and creative combinations to take LP to new places — which it does in a musical, emotional journey from the opening burst of “Heavenly Light” to the more subdued denouement of “Forever For Now” (co-produced by Isa Summers).
As this record came together it led LP to places she didn’t know it would take her. “There are certain records that changed the landscape of this album for me,” she states.
“One Last Mistake” is one of the songs that broadened the scope of where the record could go. Working with Kid Harpoon brought out a different sound, particularly with respect to the harmonies used throughout the song. Another example can be found in the form of “Night Like This”, a collaboration with Mike del Rio and Nate Campany, which almost did not make the record. “A few major artists wanted to sing that song,” LP states. Yet, the song’s laid-back feel and sweet tone mixed with the rhythmic stomp of the kick-drum feel natural nestled within the whole of the record.
In addition, the LP-Cavallo partnership opened the music to new possibilities. Foremost is the orchestral elements that grace some of the songs, notably “Tokyo Sunrise,” which like “Into The Wild” was co-written and co-produced by PJ Bianco. That orchestra, complemented by the fragile harp-like sounds of a twelve-string guitar, provide the vivid backdrop for the song’s layered, powerful vocals.
“I always knew that with ‘Tokyo Sunrise,’ from the moment it came together, it would be the artistic pinnacle of the record. The emotional content behind that song runs very deep for me and brings me there every time I sing it.”
Though each song on the album is unique, overall, all twelve songs feel like they belong in the same family. It sounds like a cohesive piece of work; perhaps even a triumphant piece of work. “TRIUMPHANT!” LP says with a wink.
For further information contact Rick Gershon at Warner Bros. Records Publicity:
818-953-3473 / firstname.lastname@example.org