Katey Laurel answers 7 | VailDaily.com

Katey Laurel answers 7

Special to the Daily

AVON, Colorado ” Denver’s Katey Laurel, 27, hopes to secure her niche in the world of female singer-songwriters. The folk/pop artist plans to branch out from her crooning-in-coffee-shops roots with the release of her first professional album in December.

Influenced by Sarah McLachlan and Natalie Merchant, Laurel gravitates to the acoustic guitar and keyboard.

Visitors to Loaded Joe’s in Avon Thursday night will hear a sneak peek of the songs on her upcoming album, including its feature tune “Twentysomething.”

Laurel talked to the Vail Daily about 20-something life, why country is a dangerous label and that inescapable Jewel comparison.

1. Vail Daily: Does it make you mad that people automatically compare any female singer-songwriter to Jewel?

Katey Laurel: That’s funny. No, it doesn’t actually because strangely enough, I’m probably one of the people that actually does sound like her. What maybe makes me mad is that often times when people look at someone like me who’s blonde and kind of a folk singer then they start equating you with her, not just as a sound but even as a person or a songwriter or a style. No it doesn’t make me mad because strangely enough I actually would be kind of comparable to her sound.

2. VD: How would you compare yourself to Jewel?

KL: A little edgy in the lyricism. A unique voice that encompasses ” I wouldn’t say I have as wide a range of emotions as Jewel does, but I definitely utilize my voice to convey the meaning or emotion of a song like she does, and obviously my music is highly influenced by folk. Not to mention I grew up in a really rural area much like she did, so that might also have some influence on the way that I see the world as an artist.

3. VD: Your bio refers to your song “Twentysomething” as a fan favorite. What is that song about?

KL: It’s about a coming-of-age, rite-of-passage time period. People relate to it not only in their 20s … I haven’t been there yet, obviously, but people in their 30s, 40s or 50s experience some of the same feelings of loneliness or not fitting in or feeling like you’re trying to succeed at things that you’re having a really difficult time with. I think it resonates with people because everyone’s been there, has felt lonely at one time or another and is trying to establish themselves and where they’re at in life.

4. VD: What do you hope to accomplish during your 20-something years?

KL: You know, that is a question that is continually changing. It seems like in your early 20s you’re so eager to please everyone and so eager to be successful and by the time you reach your late 20s, you start to realize that a lot of life starts to look the same from one moment to the next. I think ultimately what I would like to achieve in my 20s is to touch a lot of people in a positive way, but also to become completely happy and content with myself and my life, which I think a lot of 20-somethings struggle with.

5. VD: Your new album, “Upstairs, Downstairs,” is set for release in early December. What can we expect from the record?

KL: I think you can expect a really solid set of songs that kind of encompass the range of what I say as a writer, and … a wide range of instruments in the production that you might be surprised to hear. I would say overall it’s a beautiful album.

6. VD: Does that album have a country flair?

KL: This one, no actually … this album has taken so long to complete ” we’ve been working on it for about two years. I’ve already written enough material for two albums past this, so my next project’s going to be country. I think we’re going to do a five or six song EP next that’s going to be country, but country’s like the bad word that starts with a “c.” You can completely alienate people or completely embrace people with country, so I’m trying not to put myself too much in a pigeonhole.

7. VD: Who’s influenced your work?

KL: Ben Folds, Natalie Merchant, Over the Rhine, Sarah McLachlan, and the list goes on: I would say Adam Duritz, Counting Crows.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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