It's pretty easy to contextualize an artist like L.P. Under the influence of molten guitar riffs and varied nocturnal emissions spurting from her hometown of New York City, L.P. wants to rock. Plain and simple. Either deal with it or I suggest you stop reading this article.
"It's your basic rock music," she says matter-of-factly. "I like to sing high and hard and loud so that's definitely a big part of my sound. I want to connect lyrically with people; I don't want to just shout shit at them they can't understand."
In interview, it's hard to believe that this somewhat-soft spoken, somewhat-gravely voiced 25-year old owns the untamed caterwaul that blankets her 2004 album Suburban Sprawl and Alcohol in layer upon layer of gooey vocal vehemence. The music of L.P. is like baklava for your brain, minus the honey and plus a truckload of troubadour soul. While she has spent many an hour in vocal training, trying to tame the beast within her voicebox, L.P. says that the professional help paid towards her vocals is merely one means of approaching the microphone.
"A lot of singers' voices are cool just the way they are. Personally, I studied voice like you might study an instrumentůit was very technical. For a lot of critics who listen to my music, they say I haven't settled on a sound because I change the way I sing pretty much every song. But that's what I want. Different songs deserve different colours, and I don't want to sound the same on every song. Listen to a band like Journey and you'll recognize them right away because Steve Perry sings every song the exact same way. He's a great singer but I don't want that to happen to me."
Since the early summer release of Suburban Sprawl÷, L.P. has found herself at various outposts within the continental US, a proponent of the chrome-platted clock that young bands must punch in efforts to parse the membrane of the mainstream. Luckily, L.P. has an able-bodied four-piece backing her up: guitarists Tony Finn and Josh Flagg, bassist Scott Kelliher and drummer Scott Campbell. When L.P. plugs in her axe, the racket grows fierce but alas, when you're throwing your music into the void that is New York City, you'd best make every effort to be heard loud and clear.
"New York definitely has a great music scene but there's just so much music coming out of the city right now," says L.P. "It's so tough to stand out with all these other bands competing with you. Before The Strokes came along, it was pretty dismal. Then, the scene really exploded and then, there was the backlash. It's pretty much evened out now and Brooklyn has really taken over as the hotbed for musicians in this city."
L.P. plans on spending the final weeks of 2004 on the road, continuing to promote Suburban Sprawl÷ and building upon momentum she's forged in centres like Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Yet away from the din, L.P. says she's been relaxing to the tasteful indie rock lullabies of Keane, Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service. Is this hard-rocking wailer preparing to simmer down her amps and begin turning tricks for the mohair sect?
"Nah! Maybe much later on but I've still got a lot of years left to just rock out."
For more information about L.P., please visit her official web site at: www.lprock.com
Writer: Cameron Gordon