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Lauren Fincham 

Lauren Fincham's songs have been described as "suburban folk," having "glowing imagery," being "slightly dangerous," and "too good for this town." She challenges listeners with alternative tunings and lush chord structures while welcoming them with evocative melodies and wry, observant lyrics. Her songs are a constant on many podcasts across the globe as well as on Pandora Satellite Radio. A Jacksonville native, she spent time in Atlanta, Georgia honing her craft and producing two wonderful CDs. After helping to record her third CD I asked her a few questions about her approach to song writing.
 

Roy: What is your songwriting process? When you sit down to write a song, what happens?

Lauren: It depends... Sometimes itís like sifting for gold and other times itís like a game. My Ďprocessí can start on a walk or during a nap, or during a conversation with someone. Then I scribble down the idea and play with it. Sometimes it morphs so far from the original thought. Itís always fascinating.


Roy: What comes first--lyrics or melody? What part does rhythm play in your crafting of the lyrics?

Lauren: It depends... Lately the lyrics have been having their say first, but the majority of my songs have begun with me playing my guitar and lapsing into a rhythm/melody-like trance.


Roy: How much time do you generally spend on a song?

Lauren: Depends on the process... Some come in a flash. Some I have to put down and return to months later. Some I just canít put down till Iíve found just that particular imagery or melody that resonates.


Roy: You write in standard tuning as well as quite a few non-standard "alternate tunings." Is it harder or easier to write in different tunings?

Lauren: Itís not harder or easier. Having both just provides a larger palette. Especially if you donít have extreme chops like a Hendrix, Hedges, or Bensusan...etc.
 

Roy: Is there a specific tuning that you prefer when you have a certain idea in your head for a song that you'd like to work out?

Lauren: No


Roy: Has your songwriting process changed in any way over the years?

Lauren: I like to think itís gotten a little richer and has a little more sly humor.


Roy: Name a few of your favorite songwriters and why they are important to you.

Lauren: Jane Siberry Ė Love her quirky tangents.

            Joni Mitchell Ė Never tires of musical exploration.

            Steve Earle Ė Heís just fun to listen to.


Roy: How do you deal with criticism?

Lauren: Depends whoís delivering the message and what theyíre saying.

Roy: Your song "Me and Madonna" is always a crowd favorite. Care to tell us anything about that particular song?
Lauren: Itís really more of a poem than a song. I wrote it in an attempt to have a song that would give me a story to tell at some of the listening room types of venues.

Roy: I'm going to mention a few more of your songs. Tell me anything you want about them, especially how it came to be written:

"Questions and Answers."
Lauren:  I am very proud of this song. First song I ever wrote after I moved to Atlanta. Before I recorded it, I dreamt I heard it on the radio. After I released the Perfect Pain CD, this song was in the top 10 rotation on an Arizona radio station; about 50 miles from where my mom was born and my sisters and I scattered her ashes. (Jerome, AZ)

"Palmetto Waltz."
Lauren: I used to perform with a wonderful percussionist in Atlanta Ė Peter Arenz. He was always coaxing me to write in less conventional time signatures; and combine different time signatures in a song (which this one has). One night when we were discussing this over the phone, he started playing the time signature that begins this song and I started finding a guitar part. All of a sudden, a very large Palmetto bug drops down my chimney and I freak out. He found this endlessly amusing, so I named the song after that event and found that the lyrics just inserted themselves.

"Trading Places."
Lauren: I always encourage the crowd to sing the chorus of this song with me, because itís so true as you get older (ďI used to be smart, now I just fake itĒ).

"Pray for Magic."
Lauren: I donít know where this came from. I wrote it after I moved back to Jax...I was very unhappy.


Roy: Is there a popular song that you would have killed to have written? One that makes you say "I could've written that song!"

Lauren: I wouldnít kill to write a song, but a song that I think is absolutely perfect is ĎMarcií from Joni Mitchellís first release.


Roy: In general, how do you approach beginning work on a new album?

Lauren: I try to figure out which songs get along together or pick the songs that Iím feeling really good about.


Roy: Any advice for someone new to songwriting?

Lauren: If youíre not having fun, then donít do it.


Roy: What do you have planned for the future?

Lauren: Dinner...and Iím hoping to put out my 4th CD ...before 2012.


Roy: Anything new you've written that you'd like to talk about?

Lauren: Me me me me me me... no, not really. Just want to continue enjoy writing, recording, and performing.

 

Lauren's home on the internet is www.laurenfincham.com

Videos of her are available on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lauren+fincham&aq=f

You can buy her CDs at cdbaby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/fincham3