I had the opportunity to interview LOLO in advance of a tour stop at Big Room Bar here in Columbus almost exactly two years ago. At the time, she was on the road with tracks mined from her recently-released EP Comeback Queen, booked in for stage time at SXSW, and had begun work on a full-length studio album planned for release later in the year. In September 2016, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a Shit arrived, showcasing her obvious talent as an impassioned songwriter and vocalist.
The Jackson, Tennessee native (whose given name is Lauren Pritchard) first found success on Broadway in the lead role of Ilse in the original cast of Spring Awakening. In 2010, she released her first album, the critically acclaimed Wasted in Jackson, and then scored the Off-Broadway show Songbird, an interpretation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. She was a guest vocalist on tracks by Panic! at the Disco, Matt Nathanson, and Lemaitre, and on Fall Out Boy’s 2014 omnipresent top ten hit “Centuries.” Late in 2017, she starred in and composed the soundtrack for the feature film (Romance) in the Digital Age.
Today, LOLO has unveiled her brand new single “Leaning”—two minutes and forty-five seconds of nothing more, and nothing more needed, than her stunning whiskey-nipped contralto and a strummed electric rhythm guitar. Slow-burning soul fits her like a glove, and the slightly looser, hushed phrasing on the verses allows the bigger, bolder choruses to pay off in dividends. If this is a taste of a forthcoming album, I’ll happily wait around for the main course.
Although LOLO has yet to announce further plans for new music or touring in 2018, she is currently set to join California pop-rockers Train on their annual Sail Across The Sun music cruise, which will depart New Orleans for Cozumel on March 7th.