Bio/Reviews

 

“I listened to a lot of musicals growing up, non-stop, obsessive. Then my mom introduced me to Joni Mitchell and I found Jewel… it was over,” recalls Chicago based singer-songwriter Laura Joy. “One day, I had someone come up to me and tell me how much they loved that I painted pictures with sound and words. I thought that was the most awesome compliment. That’s exactly what I want to create.”

And create she has. Released March 5, 2015, her latest EP, Between Our Worlds, was produced by fellow Chicagoan, Will Phalen, at Cold Ghost Studios, and features Jamie Gallagher on drums (Kapsalis Trio, Republic of Lights), David Gallagher on guitar (Paris Schutz, David Saffron), and Will Phalen on bass (Stereo Addicts, Julie Meckler). “To look out at that audience, it felt so right, and I couldn’t stop smiling,” says Laura of the crowd for the EP release show at The Hideout in Chicago. Additionally, the track “Takes A While” went on the be named “Best Original Song of 2015” on NPR’s 90.9 WDCB Folk Festival show hosted by Lilli Kuzma.

Laura’s unique style of poetic, acoustic pop, which has been described as “folk music so pretty you’ll have to stop your ears from floating away,” (thefreegeorge.com), has earned her invitations to open for artists including Hammel on Trial, poet Staceyann Chin, Switchback, and Greg Brown, as well as being awarded as a top finalist in the Broward Folk Club Songwriter Competition in Fort Lauderdale, FL in January, 2013.

As a fixture at Midwestern festivals, Laura explains that she loves the scene because, “you never know what’s going to happen or who’s going to show up. One time I looked out at the audience and realized there were more dogs than humans. That was a neighborhood pet festival. But I’d say there’s almost a 100% guarantee a few little kids will push their way up to the front and start dancing. That’s the kind of family friendly I am, and it’s my favorite. And honestly, off-stage is where the magic happens. You get to know people, other musicians, fans… especially if everyone’s camping and making music together.”

At the core for Laura, “it’s all about writing and recording. All I want to do is write good songs that people enjoy listening to. It’s kind of a slow, painstaking process for me, but the results are sooo satisfying when I finish a piece and I play it for the first time in front of an audience. If they’re bouncing their heads, or totally silenced, it’s a keeper. If neither of those things happen… then you know you need to work on it some more.” And her work is paying off. As Vernon Tart (Culturebomb.net) puts it, “when you listen to Laura Joy, it sparks a happy feeling deep inside of you… although most artists have a sound; Laura Joy has her sound.”  As for what’s on the horizon, “write as much as humanly possible and record along the way.”

FESTIVAL APPEARANCES
Old Town Art Fair (Chicago, IL) * NIC Fest ( Casper, WY) * Paonia Cherry Festival (Paonia, CO) * Arts in the Park (Spearfish, SD) * Pumpkinfest (South Lyon, MI) * Cain Park Arts Fest (Cleveland, OH) * Festival of the Arts (Bartlett, IL) * Lakeshore Arts Festival (Evanston, IL) * Bloomingfest (West Chicago, IL) * Metamora Olde Time Music Festival (Metamora, IN) * Ravenswood Remix (Chicago, IL) * Ravenswood Artwalk (Chicago, IL) * Independent Chicago Songwriter Festival (Chicago, IL) * Morristown Folk Festival (Morristown, AZ) * Broward Folk Club Festivus II (Fort Lauderdale, FL) * South Florida Folk Festival (Fort Lauderdale, FL) * Cranford Music Festival (Cranford, NJ)

CONTESTS/SHOWCASES
2014 Chicago Strobe Audio Songwriter Contest (3rd place)
2014 Shanahan’s Original Music Competition (finalist)
2013 Broward Folk Club Singer-Songwriter Competition (finalist)
2012 FARM Folk DJ Showcase Artist

REGIONAL LISTENING ROOM VENUES
Uncommon Ground (Chicago, IL)  * Two Way Street Coffee House (Downers Grove, IL) * Maple Street Chapel (Lombard, IL) * Twisted Q BBQ Listening Room (Homewood, IL) * Cat and Fiddle (Metamora, IN) * Best Video (Hamden, CT) * Fiddler’s Dream (Phoenix, AZ)

REVIEWS 

“Her voice reflects a younger Joni Mitchell… Her songwriting shines…” Jim Pasinski, Record Journal

“Upbeat, handcrafted folk/pop tunes, backed up by a very tight band.” themodernfolk.net

“A beautiful blend of acoustic and folk …. with her unique and unpredictable vocal range… she won’t be under the radar for too long.”  Lauren Gribble, ListenHereReviews.com

“Low-voltage, lo-fi and warm, this is a fine mixture of acoustic based pop and soothing vocals.  For someone who seems to tour on a tireless schedule, this effort is upbeat and emits an embracing vibe…  Fine songwriting, a voice that fits the songs perfectly and the right backing accompaniment – the perfect balance.”  – Rob Ross, PopDose.com

“Chicago’s Laura Joy has crafted an EP of sunny folk-pop that goes a bit deeper lyrically than much upbeat singer-songwriter fare.” – Radio One Chicago, WLUW 88.7FM

“A little Joni Mitchell yodel, a little feel good adult alternative rock bounce, and a wee bit of twang.  Laidback and layered 1970s soft rock sound… very intricate and pretty guitar playing going on here…” – Deep In the Music (Blog)

“Right away, you’ll notice how her acoustic guitar drives the rhythm of her songs… Joy’s vocals are precise, crisp and smooth.” – Josh Schott, www.countryperspective.com

“Laura Joy’s Between Our Words is a light, airy, sun-dappled collection of acoustic songs…  an EP that makes an outsized mark for its weight.” Stephen Carradini, IndependentClauses.com

“When you listen to Laura Joy, it sparks a happy feeling deep inside of you… although most artists have a sound; Laura Joy has her sound.” Vernon Tart, CultureBomb.net

“Laura Joy is a breath of fresh air. With a percussive fingerstyle guitar reminiscent of Ani DiFranco and a songwriting flair that recalls the likes of Joni Mitchell and Rebecca Martin, Laura Joy crafts personal tales in song that are both touching and entertaining.” Wildy Haskell, Wildy’s World

“Folk music so pretty you’ll have to stop your ears from floating away.” TheFreeGeorge.com

Hi-Res Photos