Laurel Sorenson is back in Encinitas to celebrate the release of her debut EP
Laurel Sorenson bonded with her father over the blues and listening to classic rock.
That she understood the music they had bonded over is apparent after hearing the 19-year-old singer/songwriter’s own bluesy/rock sound on her debut EP “See What You Got” (available on iTunes and Amazon.com).
Sorenson, who grew up in Encinitas and graduated from San Dieguito Academy last year, talked from her new home in Nashville, Tenn. where she’s majoring in songwriting.
When did you discover that music was going to be your profession?
I didn’t really figure it out until my junior year of high school. I kind of figured out that I could sing in my sophomore year when we had to write poetry and recite it for the class, and I wasn’t really comfortable doing that so I figured that if I could sing it, then people wouldn’t be able to understand the words as much, so I just wrote a song instead…And people liked it, so I just kept doing it. And then I just got in bands, and then I was like, “Hey, I can do this.”
What’s been the biggest change for you since moving to Nashville?
The sense of friendly competition, I think, because everybody here is really supportive. But there’s also a lot of really good people. One of the reasons I came to Nashville was to be surrounded by people who are really good because I’m really competitive and so I knew that would push me. And so far it’s pushed me a lot.
How different is the music scene in Nashville than in Encinitas?
There’s music everywhere, you can’t go get frozen yogurt without there being somebody playing…There’s not a lot of basements in Southern California, and so there aren’t as many house shows. Here, there’s house shows every weekend.
Was there a tone you were looking to set with the EP?
I just wanted to show an introduction of who I am, with a little bit of diversity in the songs. I’m still into rock, and I’m still into blues and then I’ve been getting into jazzier stuff, and I think all of that came through.
You describe your lyrics as being “darkly defiant.” What is it that you’re in defiance of?
It ranges with every song. A lot of what I tend to write is kind of addressing people’s perceptions of me, and my own perceptions of me and kind of countering that with an attempt at the truth…It’s just kind of what’s there. I’m a really happy person, but a lot of my songs come out really angry.
What are some of those perceptions that people have about you?
I think a lot of people perceive me as a chick singer, which is fine, because I am a chick singer…It was less about how people perceive me as a musician, because I think people perceive me relatively accurately, because it’s like when you’re performing you’re just kind of naked out there in front of everybody. I think my true self kind of comes out, especially in the song, “All I’ve Ever Been.” In that one I talk about how friends and family perceive me as really strong, and I perceive myself as somebody who is really strong, but my actions hadn’t demonstrated that.
What is it that you’d like to accomplish with your music?
Honestly, I want to be able to use it to connect with other people and have other people connect with each other. Ultimately, it’s not about me…I just want it to be able to speak to people and maybe generate conversation.
EP release party
When: Dec. 20 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Seaweed & Gravel; 1144 N. Coast Hwy. 101 in Encinitas.
Cost: Free. It’s suggested to bring a a new, unwrapped toy or new or gently used outerwear for the Community Resource Center Holiday Baskets. All ages show.