Get To Know: Ohio Singer-Songwriter Lauren Brabson Discusses New EP ‘Sad Girl Blues’

Lauren Brabson, fresh off the release of her new EP Sad Girl Blues, is a young singer-songwriter from small town Ohio with something to say. The tender new EP contains two tracks, “Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Me?” and “Babe’s Song,” and officially hit streaming services March 19th.

Brabson’s music can be described as ethereal and emotionally driven, and the songs on Sad Girl Blues display these descriptors to a T. Her soft beautiful voice rings out lyrics that are, “laced with personal experiences while resonating with everyday life,” as Brabson herself explains. 

With her new release, Brabson shares her feelings of love and longing, and belonging and finding oneself. The promising songwriter lets herself shine through with the art she creates, and Sad Girl Blues emanates this.

We got to know more about Brabson, her new EP, and much more in our latest interview.

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How would you describe yourself in three words?

I would describe myself as empathetic, honest, and observant.

Would you say your music shows or expresses these three descriptors of your personality? If so, how?

I definitely think these do reflect in my music. When I’m creating, I take a lot of time to reflect on certain situations and try to understand it better. Maybe I could have reacted another way or tried to picture it better from the other person’s perspective and had a different outcome. A lot of the time the way I write reflects on what I wanted to say but didn’t. 

In my shows, lyrically I think my songs stand for themselves. I also think it comes back to the honest trait as well. I don’t know how to be something that I’m not. To be able to present myself in the most honest, vulnerable way is truly an honoring experience. 

So who or what inspired you to pick up a guitar and start writing songs?

I started playing guitar when I was 16. I was honed into writing long before I picked one up, but I knew when I was about 9 or 10 that this was what I wanted to do. Around then, I had watched someone play a 12-string guitar, and I knew that was it. I’m not sure there was an exact moment when I knew, but that sticks out. Before that, I wrote a lot of stories, poems, and even little lines that I would hum throughout the day. 

How has your roots in Ohio influenced your music?

Being from Ohio, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different walks of life. If you’re looking for a certain way to live, whether it be a busy city or a slow small town, we have it. I know people who have been on national tours to people who are drifters, and they seek to come from all over the country. Some just happened to stop and never left while others moved here for work. Hearing their stories and observing how they live has been really inspiring.

I’m also so inspired by our music scene. I feel like we’re very underrated in that. The music that’s going on in Ohio is just so different. It’s not a cliché sound or the same repetitive, mainstream lyrics. These musicians feel, go through pain and life, and then they write about it. It’s truly incredible and something I could never take for granted.

I see you recently dropped your new two-track EP, Sad Girl Blues. How do these two songs compare and contrast?

It’s been a really exciting time with the new EP, Sad Girl Blues, being out. I’ve had so many people come up to me and talk about specific lyrics that mean a lot to them. I could have never imagined it. 

“Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Me?” and “Babe’s Song” were written a couple years apart. They were inspired by such huge parts of my life. One is about falling in love with a person while the other is about falling in love with life. With “Babe’s Song,” there are a lot of emotions that every person goes through when they find the person they want to spend their time with. “Who Wouldn’t Want To Be Me?” is more of a self-reflective song, just having gratitude toward the struggles and triumphs I’ve had and the people in my life. It’s a step toward self-acceptance.  

How did you decide on the pairing of the two songs?

At the time I recorded these songs, they were the most honest and vulnerable I had been musically. When I wrote them, they kind of fell out of me. All of my songs are personal, but these hit differently. I also felt like they flowed well together. They aren’t songs that are going to take you through a ton of different emotions. 

Can you give us the backstory and inspiration behind the tracks?

With “Babe’s Song”, I had just started talking to a guy and I knew I was falling in love with him. I tried to fight it. I’m not good at “gooey/lovey” behavior. It was a special phase though. I was wondering how he felt, worried about getting hurt, but overall I couldn’t help but fall in love. 

“Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Me?” was inspired by isolation and returning from that over the last couple years. I spent some time away from everyone, even after the world had started reopening. After a good period of time and many jokes later, my sweet friend, Davey, asked me about playing a show and stepping back into the music world. As it got closer, I kept thinking about the moment I’d be on stage and everyone would all be together. It was a moment of comfort and warmth that I truly needed in my life. The anticipation of waiting for it and coming back to the world is what it was about. 

Comparing your recent release to your 2019 single release, how would you say you have evolved musically?

Illinois, which released in 2019, was the beginning of a pivotal moment for me as a musician. It was different from what I typically did prior, as I was in a transitional phase of still trying to find my sound. It was a new step for me as a musician, but also as a songwriter. Leading up to Illinois, lyrically and musically I would say I landed more into Country music, which I’ll always love, but Illinois truly opened the door that led me into the Folk/Singer-Songwriter genre. I feel that shows more with Sad Girl Blues

What does a dream gig and a dream collaboration look like for you?

I would love to host a radio segment that just plays local music. That’s my dream. All genres, bands and solo artists. Even bigger than that would be to host a music festival powered by the same idea. 

I have so many dream collaborations. I‘ve always wanted to write a song with Bob Seger. John Prine, who passed away a couple years ago, is also someone I dreamed of writing and singing a song with. Another would be Ohio-native Gretchen Pleuss. The way she wraps her vocals around her unique guitar style continuously blows me away. She inspired me when I was 17 years old and I’ve dreamed of working on a song with her since then.

What else might fans expect from Lauren Brabson throughout the rest of 2022?

I’m really excited to have some shows coming up this summer. It’s been a quiet couple years and I miss being out almost every weekend. It won’t be that busy though. I do have plans to work on a full album and hope to have it out by the end of the year.

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