In a 2014 album she calls “my last creative chapter in California,” Nashville singer-songwriter Lauren Shera bids her life in the Golden State goodbye – and possibly bids welcome to a future of mainstream national success.
“I’ve always been so inspired by the coast and the mountains and all of the beautiful places in California that I love so much,” Shera said. “It was a conducive environment for what I write. A lot of the songs are inspired by various parts of California – living there, or scenery there, or people that I’ve met there. Making the record and finishing it, knowing that I was about to be leaving, inspired some of the songs as well.”
After picking up the guitar in her early teens and receiving a major record label offering, Shera chose instead to attend Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, where she took lessons in the ukulele and clawhammer banjo. With a sound that channels older influences in the style of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young as seamlessly as the newer sounds of Fleet Foxes and First Aid Kit, her act is quintessential folk.
Yet there are hints of heavier, more rock-oriented notes in the guitar and percussion that shine through from time to time. Particularly in numbers like “Howl,” there is something very reminiscent of the unabashed emotionality and raw pointedness of the Cranberries. Both Shera’s warbling vocal tone and her lyrical edge highlight her origins as a songwriter with a foot planted firmly on the rock and acoustic guitar spectrum.
Certainly her extensive stage experience and musical training background have added well to her notable competence. Shera has been releasing albums since “In My Bones”, at age 18, in November 2006. It was about this time that she began to expand from her coffeehouse base audience and started to tour around the country with several other acts. By the time she started receiving major critical acclaim in 2011, she was highlighted by a number of outlets as “a rising star” and “a major talent lying in wait.”
Shera can also be heard performing with her band Honeymoon. “A blend of indie-folk, traditional roots and pop,” they are based in Santa Cruz.