Laura Gibson’s had a busy four years since the release of ‘La Grande’. But now she’s back with a new album that reflects the dramatic life changes she’s undergone in that time.
‘Empire Builder’ is set for release on 1 April 2016 and will be backed by a European tour that includes an intimate gig in London at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen on 26 April.
In 2014, seeking a break from music, Gibson packed up her life in Portland to study Creative Writing in New York City. But a few months after her arrival, on 26 March 2015, her apartment building was devastated by a gas explosion that killed two.
Having lost almost all her possessions and work, she spent the new few months putting her life back together, including rewriting the lyrics that had been destroyed, and in the process rediscovering songwriting as a means of understanding her own life and choices. Fittingly then the resulting album, billed as her most personal to date, is named after the legendary train that connects the Pacific North West with Chicago — which was the first leg of her journey from Portland to NYC.
To record the songs, she recruited guitarist/bassist Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie, Menomena), drummer/percussionist Dan Hunt (Neko Case), and composer/violinist Peter Broderick, as well as co-producer John Askew (Neko Case, The Dodos) who helped her create an album that grapples with issues of “independence, womanhood, solitude, connection, and aloneness”.