A creator of intuitive, catchy indie-pop anthems, Portland-born Nashville-based musician girlhouse aka Lauren Luiz’s debut self-titled EP rings with an earnest charm. Inspired by her relationships, personal learning curves and navigating a new life in L.A, the record balances the joys and frustrations she experienced whilst living in the City Of Angels.
We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with girlhouse to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired her song-writing techniques. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch her video for her recent single ‘Pretty Girl in LA’ at the end of this post.
1. Sharon Van Etten – ‘Seventeen’
I made the girlhouse EP when I was in the last year of my 20’s and this song became a big part of the soundtrack for that time in my life. The production is so simple but also so huge. I think it lends itself to the story so well. Everything sonically about this song is incredible. Sharon’s vocals also shred in this song. I wish I could go back in time and talk to myself when I was a teenager. I think I would tell her to talk slower and stop trying to be everything for everyone. The music video is so simple and tells the story so perfectly.
2. Big Thief – ‘Shark Smile’
Adrianne Lenker’s style of writing has been a big inspiration for my lyrics for a while now. I think her storytelling and melodies are so poetic and creative, I listen to her songs and it really makes me want to push myself to be better. This song is about a car accident where someone dies but it doesn’t feel sad, it’s really dark and complex! I wanna write songs like that. It was so hard picking just one Big Thief song. The first time I heard them I was on tour while I was driving late at night. I didn’t want to stop driving so I could get through their whole catalogue. I can’t remember where we were or where we were driving to, but it fit perfectly.
3. Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Smoke Signals’
I, like many people with a pulse, am obsessed with Phoebe Bridgers and the honesty in her lyrics. This album put me in a dark place for a long time but art is supposed to do that sometimes, it made me feel things! Phoebe is another one that really makes me wanna be better. She and I used to live in the same neighborhood in LA, I saw her at a yoga class one time in eagle rock and wanted to say Hi so badly, but I got nervous. I think I read that this song was about someone trying to get her attention or breaking up with someone? It’s hard to push someone away, doesn’t feel good ever. I really appreciate her writing about things that aren’t necessarily pretty or perfect.
4. Decemberists – ‘Make You Better’
Picking one Decemberists song is like picking my favourite dog, nearly impossible and a viscerally painful process. This was the first band I ever stanned HARD. They’re from the Pacific Northwest as well so I’ve seen them play Edgefield (an amazing outdoor venue in Oregon) COUNTLESS times, it’s possibly the best vibe in the world. Writing with Colin Meloy has been a goal since I was 12. I picked this song because I feel like it represents how I feel about most of the relationships I’ve had in my life/ I used to be all about seeing the “potential” in people instead of accepting who they are in the moment and that was shitty of me. You gotta let people be people.
5. Lucy Dacus – ‘Night Shift’
For me, there is no better breakup song than this one. I love how the lyrics feel like a letter or a journal entry. It reminds me of being in the valley in LA for some reason, I feel like most of the people I dated and had break-ups with lived in the valley. Lucy’s style of singing feels so effortless and easy to listen to, I don’t feel like she’s trying to do anything cool, she just is the coolest!
Watch the video for girlhouse’s new single ‘Pretty Girl in LA’ below.
Photo Credit: Alex Justice