Girl Love (Laura Beth Johnson) – Interview
Written by Staff on November 22, 2023
Girl Love (Laura Beth Johnson) – Interview by Niki Kaos.
Laura Beth Johnson’s poetic and ethereal soundscapes paint romantically nostalgic feelings. Her new album, Girl Love will draw you in… what exactly is in store for listeners?
I enjoyed seeing you perform some of the songs from your album at CM Studio for Fine Arts in Clifton Park.
RRX: You were playing songs from your new album, and the sincerity of your lyrics and voice captured my attention immediately. And then I remembered you had some challenges with other venues concerned about your style of love. So, tell me a little bit more about what real love means to you, and how that led to this album?
LBJ: Girl Love to me is about the limitlessness of queer love. I’m actually bisexual. And so, somebody’s, appearance or gender, lack thereof, none of it really matters to me in terms of if I would wanna be with that person. And so, I see that as loving without bounds as really a gift and a beautiful thing in my life. I wanted to reflect that in my record.
RRX: Well, I think you’re very successful because it’s joyful. I feel like you have an authentic way of talking about what many people think of love as between a man and a woman. You have a very down-to-earth way of expressing your ideas around how that can be different and be really wonderful for people. I applaud you for that. I think you did a great job of sharing that part of you with your audience.
RRX: How long did it take you to record the album? Was there anything that went really well? Or something that you were so frustrated with and then you figured it out along the way?
LBJ: I started with guitar. Once all the songs had been written and edited and they were ready to be recorded I rented a cabin in Palin Bill, New York, that had a little out of tune piano and a bed, and that’s it. That’s all that was in the cabin. And I brought my recording equipment and my guitar, and they recorded 14 songs in three days.
LBJ: Yeah! And I sent those over to my producers in New York, and they really took it from there. Hannah and Mark LaGrande. They’re really incredible. Hannah is a violinist, and Mark is a jazz guitarist, so their classical and jazz influences are really present in the in the record. They just added. They wrote their own parts, and they added everything that needed to be added. And then I recorded the final vocals with Jimmy W. That all got sent to our mixer in L.A. and now it’s coming to you.
RRX: I feel like many of the people I admire as musicians have really taken advantage of our capacity for global collaboration. And you’re working with people in New York City, you’re working with people in L.A. to create the sound you want for your album. That’s pretty awesome! Have you worked with these folks in the past, or are they a new group with you?
LBJ: Hannah and Mark are both on my first record and I tour with them. Usually in the spring, we do a Midwest tour. So, this year, it’ll be in March. They’ve been friends of mine for a long time. We met in college.
RRX: Do you have any shows coming up locally here in the 518 for people to check out the music?
LBJ: The album release party is November 28th from 7 to 9 at Caffe Lena in Saratoga.
RRX: You couldn’t take a better place for a listening room to have an album released, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it sold out.
Non album related question. When you’re going out to see music, where do you like to go? Where do you go to listen to music?
LBJ: That’s a good question. I would say my favorite room in the capital region is Troy Savings Bank.
RRX: Oh, my gosh. It is so good.
LBJ: Yeah, acoustically. And everyone comes to listen and it’s just always a good time. Who did I see there last? I saw Rufus Wayne right there. Um, when he was in town with Carsie.
RRX: You mean Carsie Blanton?
RRX: I love her. I saw her at The Linda.
LBJ: She is so cool.
RRX: She’s fabulous. She’s coming back to the Linda this Spring.
LBJ: Oh, I gotta see it!
RRX: Yeah, she’s on my radar for sure.
LBJ: The other one I really like is Song City. I go to those almost every month, and I go to their open mic for songwriters.
RRX: I have to get down there! All my songwriter friends are asking me, why aren’t you down at Song City? And I’m like, I don’t know why. My schedule is very wacky!
But Song City, I hear, is like you can’t go wrong. Every time they have it seems like they’re pulling some of the best singer songwriters around right now.
LBJ: Yeah, absolutely.
RRX: How can people find your album and support you?
LBJ: I have an Indiegogo page where people can purchase the record. They can do vinyl or CDs to support the record. And the best way to follow along is on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/girlloveband.
RRX: Awesome! I know folks will enjoy the album. It’s a really lovely listening experience. Thanks for chatting with me and keep on rocking!
LBJ: Thank you! I sure will!