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LAUREN SPENCER SMITH on her debut albumMirror

press conference

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WORDS by Tessa Swantek  TALENTLauren Spencer Smith  PR°1824 

There’s something golden about Lauren Spencer Smith. Her debut album, Mirror, is crafted like Kintsugi, fragmented pieces joined in gold to create an even more beautiful image. While she says, “I come off as a very positive person, but there are a lot of things I struggle with,” Mirror reflects an accurate image that doesn’t hide the shattered shards, it highlights them. Each crack calls for the shimmering light to seep through and piece by piece, track by track, she repairs and heals.

She says, “The falling out of relationship inspires the first half [of the album]. The back half is about meeting my current boyfriend and I was so scared to fall in love again.” The album starts with “Never Been in Love.” The track is immediately in Lauren’s signature style - powerhouse vocals and lyrics that are exact to her experience. Listeners aren’t left to decode her experience - she shares fully and wholeheartedly. In the track, lyrics, “When I was growing up/ My only example were people who handled it wrong / They never said their true feelings, yeah / All of my family was not the way I want to be / Wish it came more easily,” define her past well. She says, “I grew up with divorced parents. Most people with divorced parents don’t want to get married - but I’m the opposite. I’m trying to be married for 50 years! But I didn’t feel that way until I met my boyfriend.” Throughout the album, she makes her way from repairing the shattered image of marriage she had seen, to carefully crafting her own vision.

The second track, “Love is an Overstatement” brings us to the picture of Lauren a few years ago as she sings, “You treat me badly and patronize me / Say I'm seventeen like that's the reason.”  She says, “I’ve been writing this album for years. I was 16 when I wrote the first song and now I’m 20, so it’s a huge maturity gap. The first half of the album represents that I had no boundaries in relationships and wasn’t loved the way I deserved.” The decision for the album to be a time capsule of the last couple of years lays out the story perfectly. The first half of the album serves as a golden foil for the back half, the ‘protagonist’ of her story. It shows how healing is slow, but sweet.

"I grew up with divorced parents. Most people with divorced parents don't want to get married- but I'm the opposite. I'm trying to be married for 50 years!" 

Lauren Spencer Smith

“Fingers Crossed” is the album’s third track, and is the song that shone more light than she could imagine. She says, “When ‘Fingers Crossed’ blew up, I didn’t know what doors were being opened. I was so happy and felt like all my hard work paid off.” On the final track of the album, “Do It All Again,” as JP Saxe’s fingers shimmering on the piano slowly carry us into the outro, Lauren sings, “I could say ‘I’m sorry’ but I’m not / I got exactly what I want / And I’m so thankful you had your fingers crossed.” Lauren is most excited for fans to hear this outro and its play on the words of “Fingers Crossed.” The outro seals the album together perfectly. She describes Mirror as “full circle” and it really is - she's able to restore what had been broken, but even more than that, the final image is even more beautiful.

Track five, “Narcissist” is also one of Lauren’s most popular songs, released before the full-length album. “Narcissist” is about a relationship in which she was made to believe an image that wasn’t real - one of herself and one of her partner. With the album being called Mirror, her reflection is clear in each track and changes throughout. She says, “I’m always taking photos of myself crying. Only my mirror witnessed everything. One of the metaphors is that your mirror still sees you even if you don’t look at yourself.” There is an element to the album of being seen from multiple perspectives, even if she’s not looking directly into the glass surface. “Bigger Person,” in particular, shows an image of her she didn’t want to look at in the moment - one that people-pleased at the detriment of herself. She sings, “When you'd yell I would stay silent / You never noticed I was quiet / I was taught that speaking up was talking back / Always first to say, "I'm sorry" /'Cause I wanted you to like me / And I thought that's what it took to make it last.” “Bigger Person” is the track that she says “hits pretty hard.” She continues, “I still suffer every day with what I wrote ‘Bigger Person’ about.”

"One of my metaphors is - your mirror still sees you even if you don't look at yourself."

Lauren Spencer Smith

“Aftermath” and “28” are the halfway point of the album. They feel the most emotionally vulnerable, the deepest part of the album’s valley. Far behind the mirror’s surface. Lauren shares, “‘28’ was the most challenging in deciding if I should put it out publicly.” From this point on in the album, she’s climbing her way out, and fitting the fragments back together. “Too Hurt to Fall in Love” is the repair starts. She sings, “Showed up at my house at 8 o'clock / You brought me flowers looking all dressed up / It's just like a movie, my favorite scene / I never thought this would happen to me / Hope my broken heart won't mess it up.” In “Hey” she reconstructs her stolen image as she sings, “You're kinda loud, and I kinda like it / 'Cause I'm kinda loud, and you don't make me hide it.” She says, “My whole life I always felt like my feelings weren’t valid. I will say I’m 100% overdramatic. I was always made to feel really silly and stupid for that. I wanted to validate my own feelings and make other people feel the same way. We could not be okay together.” The validation is the golden glue.

A lot of the validation pours in with “Flowers.” She sings, “Took a minute, but I had to learn the hard way / Who are you to tell me I can't be heartbroken? / Babe, you had the chance, the door for you was open / If it's what you need to tell yourself to sleep at night / Pretend I haven't found a man who finally treats me right.” She starts to believe her own eyes - her own perception. That belief makes her lean into love and trust as she lets herself fall back. “That Part” feels the most full-circle. The track starts, “We’ve only been dating for a year / But I’m gonna take a risk and sound a little weird / I want the picket fences / And an arch around the entrance / two IKEA twin beds for the kids.” The track’s music video openly shares her own love story as well as others at different points in their relationships. And while the track is about her relationship, it’s no ‘knight in shining armor’ song - it was her own hands that carefully put the pieces back together. The penultimate track, “Ily” is shiningly simple. It’s about falling together without breaking, and along with the final track, “Do It All Again,” the album is swathed in a warm blanket, and everything feels healed. There’s a true journey to the album - a beginning, middle, and fairytale ending. When asked about what she hopes listeners take away from the album, she says, “I think everything happens for a reason. I hope people leave the album knowing that, and feeling like they’ll get past this.”

Buy Tickets for Lauren’s Tour Here! 

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