Class of 2022: Lauran Hibberd

Neu Class of 2022: Lauran Hibberd

Channelling Weezer-esque riffs and a large dose of self-aware humour, Lauran Hibberd is hopping on the party boat from hometown Isle of Wight into the big wide world.

Most rising stars have dreams of topping the charts or having their face plastered on billboards across Times Square, but for the Isle of Wight’s Lauran Hibberd, the moment when she’ll know she’s made it is slightly closer to home.

“My dream is that a dad would have to bring his daughter to a gig of mine, and she’d stand at the front and dance and scream and have fun, and her dad would be at the back like, ‘This is pretty cool’,” she smiles. “And then on the drive home, he’d be like, ‘This reminds me of bands back in my day’, and she’d be like, ‘Can you shut up?!’ That’s kind of what I would like to achieve.”

Already well on her way to winning over the whole family, Lauran’s infectious slacker-pop sounds have firmly infiltrated their ways into the hearts of the dad-daughter demographic and beyond. However it took the 24-year-old a while to land upon her niche of witty one-liners and pop-grunge riffs.

Heading to music college when she was a teen - “It was kind of like School of Rock!” - Lauran’s musical journey actually began with thoughts of being a folk star, before a producer in a studio session introduced her to Weezer and her all-important lightbulb moment occurred. “I was very much 15 years too late,” she laughs. “I was literally going around like, ‘Have you heard of Weezer?!’ And everyone’s like, ‘Yes!’ I was so late to the party…”

But, as the saying goes, it was better late than never, and discovering bands like Green Day allowed the doors of possibility to swing wide open for Lauran. Add to that a chance stumble upon a guy performing at Bestival while cracking jokes between songs, and the singer finally knew what kind of artist she wanted to be. “That was the moment when I was like, there’s so much more to being a musician and an artist than just writing good songs,” she nods. “It’s about the person. [So I thought] maybe I should be more myself and say all the weird things that come into my head.”

Cut to the present, and Lauran’s personality is packed into every inch of her music, with her current discography (including recent 2021 EP ‘Goober’) reading like a humour-soaked journal entry - a ‘Sweat Patch’ here, a ‘Bleugh’ there.

“Coldplay write songs about the environment and it’s like, cool Chris Martin, you go Chris Martin!” she jokes, “but not everyone can do that, and not everyone goes to bed at night and the environment is their biggest problem, though maybe it should be… But I go to bed at night and I’m like, I sent a nude last night and I really shouldn’t have done that. I go to sleep thinking, I can’t work a 9 to 5, I might have a look at sugar daddies. And that’s what I write about! I write about what I actually think about going to bed.”

Now gearing up to share her eagerly-awaited debut album next year, Lauran is adamant that it’s her best piece of work so far, and although its current manifestation is “chaotic, in a good way”, she’s certain that the late nights working will pay off. “You have to be unhealthily obsessed with something for it to work,” she emphasises. “Do you think David Bowie was a normal guy? Do you think he was like, ‘I’m gonna put the guitar down at 5pm and pick it up at 9am’? No! So I’ve been unhealthily obsessed with it for a while, and I’m enjoying this obsession. And [the album] just stinks of me, and I love that.”

Documenting her journey through music “in a really comical way”, her debut is set to find Lauran revisiting a series of first times, recalling previous moments with a slightly cynical edge as she looks back on her formative years. “You know when you have a balloon and there’s that weight [hanging off it]?” she asks. “There’s fun on top of it, but I’m the weight holding it down.”

With a sound Lauran describes as part “Weezer-esque slacker rock” and part “big ‘90s West Coast vibes”, she’s even been working with producer Suzy Shinn, who’s previously been in the studio with Rivers Cuomo and co (“I’m always like, ‘Tell me things about [Rivers]! What does he eat?!’ And she’s like, ‘Just chill…’”). Heading into her first full-length musical statement, she’s ready to start soundtracking the lives of others herself.

“The way I felt when I took Avril Lavigne’s record home, I want girls to feel like that [with the album],” Lauran smiles. “I want it to be like listening to ‘My Happy Ending’ in my room and getting my hair cut like her. I want to be someone’s Avril Lavigne!”

Tags: Lauran Hibberd, Class of…, DIY’s Class of 2022, Features, Interviews, Neu

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