The singer is releasing a new album and thinking about what’s ahead
With everything happening in the world today due to the COVID-19 pandemic, singer Lauren Calve knows she can’t go out on tour to support new music, but she was so excited about her new album that she decided to keep its June release date and bring attention to it virtually.
“It’s presenting a challenge for sure in terms of the traditional ways,” she said. “For the foreseeable future, there’s probably not going to be much live music. So, I’ll be doing a lot more live streams and try to treat them in ways where I’m not just playing a bunch of songs—but making them more special. I think streaming has allowed me to go deeper into the stories behind the songs.”
For instance, last week Calve did a special Facebook livestream concert performance for DC’s Sixth & I, playing songs off of “Wildfire,” the EP scheduled to come out on June 23.
“I think these streams will be good to help me introduce myself as a developing artist to a wider network,” Calve said. “I’m trying to see this as a positive thing where this will present opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t by just traveling across the country.”
A Northern Virginia native, Calve has spent most of her life around the DMV area, living and working in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.
Her new album is an eclectic mix of blue, Americana, country and folk, and showcases the singer’s powerhouse vocals, guitar and lap steel skills.
She’s known for strong lyrics and stories, often using memorable imagery and meter to write about complex issues not often found in popular music today.
The singer draws inspiration from history, plus many of the adventures she’s had in her life.
“The inspiration for my songwriting comes from stories that compel me,” Calve said. “I think my songs showcase my diverse musical taste, diverse influences and is just a smorgasbord of the different things I listen to that influence me.”
Calve said the lead track, “Better Angels,” was originally inspired by a speech of Abraham Lincoln, but has taken on new meaning during these current terrible times. That led to her creating a video of the song in which she honors local heroes—the mailman, police chief, food clerks, pharmacists and an elderly couple in her neighborhood.
The song has enjoyed some time on big playlists, including CMT’s The Roundup and CMT’s Women Of Country, among others.
Calve has had an interesting career outside of music. She taught English in South Korea and worked on a dude ranch in Wyoming. She currently works as a design patent examiner for the US Patent and Trademark Office.
“Working in South Korea, I first started going to open mic’s in some of the expat areas, where there were bars and restaurants,” she said. “When I went to work on the ranch, I was a children’s counselor, and once a week we would entertain the new batch of guests after dinner, and I would play guitar, sing and join in the fun.”
Calve started playing guitar at 15, and had sang for most of her life, but didn’t really start performing until she was 24.
“The catalyst for wanting to write music and perform was when I used to go to the now defunct IOTA Open Mic in Arlington every Wednesday,” she said. “I would play covers and try to get more comfortable on stage because I had a fear, so it was a way to go through those growing pains. Then I started to write original music and I’ve been doing it the past 10 years.”
Since she has a government job, Calve is working from home, but she’s missing the in-person rehearsals and collaboration that she had in the music side of her career.
“I’ve been focusing a lot on getting the word out about my music and making sure it has the best chance to be heard by as many people as possible,” she said. “I’m going to be getting those live streams going in a more consistent way so that once a month I will be performing in this completely different way.”