Telling other people’s stories

Back with her short but impressive third effort, ‘On Personhood’, Halifax songwriter Gianna Lauren will unveil her new songs to audiences in St. John’s Thursday and Friday.

Gianna Lauren has been dabbling in music since she was a teenager. Bouncing back and forth between acoustic, jazz and opera, the Halifax-based songwriter found a home in indie rock — balancing her love of guitar and her fearless tenor.

Lauren’s third and latest album, On Personhood, produced by Justin Nace, was recorded live off the floor at The House of Miracles in Cambridge, Ont. last summer. In a recent interview, Lauren admitted recording live was a different experience, but one she doesn’t regret. “I really enjoyed this approach to recording,” she said. “The songs lived in that moment, and I’m so proud of what we accomplished.”

Straying from her typically introspective lyrical nature, Laren looks outward in On Personhood. The album presents a plethora of emotions, but instead of threading her own diary entries into her lyrics she depicts the lives of others, observing the affairs and behaviors of strangers and molding her songs based on her understanding of their reactions.

“I think I am becoming a more confident storyteller and am willing to risk telling other people’s stories,” she explained. “I’m a true people-watcher. The songs from On Personhood are memories and observances of human nature. Lately I have been finding inspiration in other people and writing more objective lyrical content,” she continued.  “Ghosts, for instance, is my interpretation of what it’s like to be a ghost, and wondering aloud if ghosts are looking in on us beings.”

The combination of Lauren’s inspiring lyrics and the musical contributions of J.J. Ipsen and Marshall Bureau makes On Personhood a worthwhile addition to any music collection. The only downside is once you’ve played all six songs the album leaves you wanting more.

Lauren expects to record more in the near future and said she wants to collaborate with other artists.

Gianna Lauren will play two shows in St. John’s this week, on Thursday as part of the Fixed Concert Series (tickets on sale now at Fred’s Records), and then a free show at Nautical Nellies on Friday, where she will be accompanied by local songwriter Joanna Barker.

Listen to the full On Personhood album here.

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