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    At the age of four, Laurel knew she wanted to be a singer. By seven, she had decided which one.

    "Britney Spears," she laughs. "If anyone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd say Britney Spears."

    At 13, she changed her mind, after a friend posted a link to Laura Marling performing 'New Romantic'.

    "As soon as I saw it, I thought, 'Forget Britney. I want to be her.' So I got myself a Spanish guitar and started figuring out how to play folk."

    Since then, the 19 year old from a tiny town somewhere between Southampton and Portsmouth has discovered that it's her own music that makes her special. Her self-penned and self-produced, cinematic songs hinge on seductive, sultry vocals. Her haunting blend of piano, beats and strings sounds almost otherworldly. Her poetic lyrics feel like a force of nature, recalling relationship break-ups so beautifully you half hope she'll be hurt again. The pop that originally inspired her is there in the hooks and harmonies; the folk she fell in love with remains in the rhythms and in the restraint of her uncluttered songs. But the music is entirely Laurel's, written in her room since spring this year and recorded on simple equipment.

    Laurel's journey to find her sound is almost as striking as the songs it took her to. If its stories you're after, she has them in spades. Signed to same company as Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora and Dan Croll on the strength of a single demo, which she uploaded to Soundcloud aged 17, she moved to London last summer to work with a host of A-list writer/producers. She was whisked away to L.A. to discover herself and gain experience writing (her first ever trip to the States, her first ever trip abroad alone), where she recorded every day with the likes of Lester Mendes (Shakira, Nelly Furtado) and Diane Warren wrote her a song.

    "Diane was wonderful," says Laurel. "Loopy and barmy with a crazy cat - I love people like that. She said she would find the perfect song for me. It turned out to be called 'Permanent Smile' and it was about being happy all the time. I thought, 'Is that how I really come across?' I had no idea."

    That Laurel emerged unfazed and unscathed from experimenting with different genres is due to the fact that she has come full-circle. The self-penned demo that got her signed, 'Next Time', bears many of the hallmarks of how she sounds now. What Laurel learnt along the way sharpened her songwriting and taught her how to produce. It helped her decide what she wanted to do and gave her the confidence to trust her own instincts.

    When Laurel asked her label to give her two months to chill in her rented London flat earlier this year, songs started pouring out of her. The first, 'Blue Blood', sent blogs in to a frenzy and hit No.3 on Hype Machine. Thanks to its filmic feel, Laurel was compared to Lana Del Rey, albeit without the artifice, but 'Blue Blood' cast a singular spell. Its arresting "You make me feel again" refrain was both creepy and calming; it wove contrasting tempos and textures in to a song with both substance and a feather light feel; its shiver-summoning vocals were simply sublime. Already, it has over 100,000 plays on Soundcloud.

    Laurel has sung since she can remember. "As a child," she says, "no one could shut me up."

    Neither of her parents were musical - her mum loved Dolly Parton, her dad listened to Christian rock - but her talent was spotted at school.
    She was asked to join the choir, then given the lead. She fronted the school soul band and played concerts. Within weeks of buying a guitar to try to be Laura Marling, she had written her first song.

    "It was about flowers and an apple tree," she recalls, grimacing.
    "I thought that if you made folk, it had to be about nature."

    Four months after getting the guitar, she played her first public gig, at a local pub she wasn't officially allowed in to.

    "I had older friends in bands who introduced me to the promoter," says Laurel. "I wore a flowery dress and played songs I'd written that month. I earned a quid for every ticket sold - 15 pounds in all."

    The book-loving, poetry-writing 14 year old became a regular on the Southampton scene. She took a few guitar lessons but quit when her teacher asked her to play covers.

    "I've never liked playing other people's music," she insists. "I've only learnt three covers in my life - Laura Marling's 'Ghosts' and 'New Romantic' and Ellie Goulding's 'Guns And Horses' - but I've never played them at gigs or posted them online. I suppose I like writing my own songs too much."

    Aged 15, Laurel used her school's music room to record her first EP, released under her then performing name Under The Laurels.
    She had 100 copies printed up, for which a friend made original artwork, and sold them all an EP launch she organised herself. The following year, she put out a second EP, recorded at a friend's studio.

    At 16, she started college in Portsmouth, studying English literature and language, business and music performance. She didn't like the performance part - they preferred her to play covers, rather than original songs - and by then, she was flourishing on Portsmouth's live circuit. The local paper even gave her an award as the city's best solo performer.

    A local producer heard Laurel and asked her to sing on some dance tracks. That didn't work out, but while the pair were in the studio, Laurel wrote and recorded 'Next Time', a song about a destructive relationship, inspired by a boyfriend who had just moved abroad.

    "There was no big plan," says Laurel. "It was just two chords and some piano parts, with strings put on by the producer. I only stuck it on Soundcloud for my friends to hear. The next thing I knew, Sony were setting me up with a lawyer. I was still at college, desperate to tell my friends what had happened, but not wanting to tempt fate."

    The day after Laurel completed her college exams, she came to London, intending to stay for a fortnight. She returned home 18 months later with most of her debut album completed - it is planned for release next year. Since 'Blue Blood', she has posted the song 'Mankind' online. Its sensual, whispered lyrics about birthday sex - "Wine and dine / You're so divine" - sound almost too intimate to be blared from speakers and too emotive to have come from someone so young.

    Laurel's first official release was a free download of two new tracks, 'Firebreather' and 'The Desert' released in November '13. Both of these songs were written and produced by Laurel. 'Firebreather' is set to what sounds like a thudding heartbeat, with hypnotic vocals and a high, haunting chorus and luscious lyrics about a man she can't resist.
    'The Desert' is a beautiful, brooding piano ballad, its dark, abstract lyrics at odds with Laurel's ethereal voice.

    Desperate to play her new songs live - Laurel found a band with whom she played her first official gig at the end of last year, supporting MS MR at Shepherds Bush Empire. More recently, Laurel has performed at the Bardot Club and world famous Troubadour in LA.
    Laurel has also supported John Newman on his UK Tour, alongside her own headline London shows; and is headed on the road supporting Dan Croll in March. With further dates planned to confirm in the U.S and the UK festival season ahead, Laurel is also planning an EP release in May whilst she puts the finishing touches to her debut album, expected in 2015. Prepare to discover pop's most bewitching new name.



  • 15 May, 2018

    Laurel: Debut Album, UK & European Tour

    Rising UK star LAUREL has announced her incredible debut album 'DOGVIOLET', out August 24th on Counter Records. Leading with infectious debut single 'Lovesick', the evocative and effortless 12 track LP sees LAUREL showcase her sublime vocals and raw guitars.

    Recorded without glossing over the imperfections and driven by her personal lyrics and stirring melodies, every track on the album was written and recorded in LAUREL's home studio in East London. It was then taken to Gizzard Studios to be fed back through a reel-to-reel tape recorder, re-capturing the organic tone that is prevalent within her breathtaking live shows.

    Titled after the flower, 'DOGVIOLET' is a deeply personal exploration of the bittersweet feeling of love. LAUREL says "I wrote these songs at home often locking myself away for periods of time in order to capture the true mania that comes from love; although a beautiful feeling, it can often feel a lot uglier."

    Following a huge 2017, including a UK and European tour with Oh Wonder, two sold-out UK headline tours, and appearances at The Secret Garden Party, Live At Leeds, Outlines Festival and Golden Leaves Festival, Laurel will play UK & European Dates this autumn.

    First single 'Lovesick' sets the tone for the album, with open, sparse production revealing LAUREL's effortlessly emotive voice and the vintage warmth of her guitar playing. Other album highlights include spellbinding live favourite 'Life Worth Living', the infectiously wounded 'Adored', spikey punk pop hit 'Same Mistakes' and bitingly intense track 'Sun King' showcasing LAUREL's mesmerising and intense vocals, seeing her singing 'What is life, but a dream'.

    Already receiving support from Annie Mac, Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq, Huw Stephens, Phil Taggart, Apple Music, Spotify, The Guardian, Wonderland and I-D Magazine, as well as partnerships with Burberry, Ellesse, Levis and Vans, 'DOGVIOLET' follows LAUREL's incredible 'Park' EP and her captivating Spotify Live EP, released in 2017.

    laurel tour
  • 10 May, 2018

    Laurel: New Video 'Lovesick'

    Laurel shares a new video for her track 'Lovesick'.

    This media uses flash

  • 27 Mar, 2018

    Leopallooza 2018

    The Leopallooza festival will take place at The Wyldes, Bude in Cornwall from 27th-29th July, and the following Primary Talent artists will be taking part.

    ...Tom Grennan
    ...Rat Boy
    ...Husky Loops

  • 22 Feb, 2018

    Laurel: At Winchestival 2018

    Laurel will play at the Winchestival festival in Winchester, on 16th June.

  • 09 Feb, 2018

    Laurel: At The Scala London

    Laurel is the special guest of Mt.Wolf at the Scala in London on 28th March 2018.

  • 08 Nov, 2017

    Laurel: New 'Spotify Live' EP

    Laurel has released her new 4-track 'Spotify Live' EP. Currently on tour with Oh Wonder across Europe, see her artist page for details.

  • 04 Nov, 2017

    Laurel: Moth Club & Oh Wonder Tour

    Southampton-raised, 23 year old London-based singer, songwriter and producer Laurel Arnell-Cullen has been busy, releasing her 'PARK' EP, signing to iconic English independent label Counter Records (an imprint of Ninja Tune), releasing the tracks 'Life Worth Living' and 'San Francisco' on her own Theia label and heading out on her first sold out UK headline tour.

    Critical acclaim has appeared from a multitude of blogs, becoming a mainstay on the Hype Machine chart, voted Teen Vogue's artist to watch and picking up support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, 2, 6 music, Beats 1, Spotify and awarded Apple Music's very first 'New Artist of the Week' along side Radio X's top 20 artists of 2017.

    Over the summer Laurel has been touring across Europe and the UK relentlessly with her drummer Sam Roux, as well as playing for Burberry and for House Of Vans sessions and is just about to release her Spotify Sessions EP to include her first new music of the year.

    Laurel writes, performs, records, produces and mixes her music in an East London bedroom based studio. Where she has been completing the final touches to her debut album due for release in 2018. Laurel is heading out on tour again and has announced her headline London Moth Club show as well as supporting Oh Wonder across Europe in November.

  • 02 Nov, 2017

    Laurel: On Tour With Oh Wonder

    Laurel will tour the UK & Europe supporting Oh Wonder throughout November & December.
    She also plays her own headline show at the Moth Club in London on 8th November.

  • 30 Oct, 2017

    Laurel: At Moth Club, London

    Laurel will appear at the Moth Club, London on Wednesday 8th November.

    moth club
  • 03 Oct, 2017

    Laurel: At Heaven With Muna

    Laurel will support Muna at Heaven in London on 31st October 2017.

16 Jun 18WinchestivalWinchester, UK
20 Sep 18The Sunflower LoungeBirmingham, UK
21 Sep 18Soup KitchenManchester, UK
22 Sep 18StereoGlasgow, UK
23 Sep 18The Think TankNewcastle, UK
25 Sep 18The LeadmillSheffield, UK
26 Sep 18OportoLeeds, UK
27 Sep 18Sound BasementLiverpool, UK
29 Sep 18The LanesBristol, UK
30 Sep 18Wedgewood RoomsPortsmouth, UK
01 Oct 18The Hope & RuinBrighton, UK
04 Oct 18Tufnell Park DomeLondon, UK
05 Oct 18Le Pop Up Du LabelParis, FRANCE
06 Oct 18Botanique - RotondeBrussels, BELGIUM
07 Oct 18SugarfactoryAmsterdam, NETHERLANDS
09 Oct 18Blue ShellKoln, GERMANY
10 Oct 18HakkenHamburg, GERMANY
11 Oct 18Ideal BarCopenhagen, DENMARK
12 Oct 18Debaser Bar BrooklynStockholm, SWEDEN
13 Oct 18JaegerOslo, NORWAY
15 Oct 18BrotfabrikFrankfurt, GERMANY
16 Oct 18Musik & FriedenBerlin, GERMANY
18 Oct 18Klub HydrozagadkaWarsaw, POLAND
19 Oct 18MeskalinaPoznan, POLAND
20 Oct 18Cafe V IesePrague, CZECH REP
21 Oct 18Durer KertBudapest, HUNGARY
23 Oct 18Kino SiskaLjubljana, SLOVENIA
24 Oct 18Locomotiv ClubBologna, ITALY
25 Oct 18OhiboMilan, ITALY
26 Oct 18Ambosse RampeZurich, SWITZERLAND
28 Oct 18B72Vienna, AUSTRIA
29 Oct 18MillaMunich, GERMANY
01 Nov 18SidecarBarcelona, SPAIN
02 Nov 18Siroco ClubMadrid, SPAIN