Earlier this month, Austrian musician Laurenz Jandl released the debut album of his solo project Laurie. Packed full of nostalgia, producing a timeless body of work and finding the perfect balance between introspection and irony, abstraction and realism, Scientist of Man is a subdued and often calm listen, led largely by simple guitar accompaniment and a solemn, wise vocal. Take a listen…
Previously a member of Polkov, the band went their separate ways – although not too far, with many of Laurie’s former band mates joining him in the studio to record his solo project.
We wanted to hear a bit more from the songwriter; read on for a short chat with Laurie…
Hey Laurie! Hope you’re well. How are you keeping occupied at this surreal time?
Hi! Yes, surreal times indeed… I’m trying to make the best of a bad situation and I’m working on new music. Aside from that, I’m enjoying the downtime with my family and of course – lots of binge-watching tv shows. A new season of Bosch just came out. I liked The Midnight Gospel as well.
We absolutely love your debut album Scientist of Man – congrats! How long has it been in the works, and what was the process of writing and creating it like?
Thanks! After my last band Polkov broke up I wanted to make something very simple and low key musically. I wrote a handful of songs and got together with three friends – who incidentally all played in Polkov – and we recorded these songs live in a week, last summer. The writing part I don’t remember that much anymore…
Apart from the individual message of each song, meanings of which are obviously open to interpretation, is there one overall message or vibe you wanted to produce from the album as a cohesive body of work?
One thing I wanted do for example was to combine different styles of language (from very formal, even corporate, to language that could have been used in a political rebellion) with themes and stories that are very mundane and private. But those things get lost along the way. I try and follow the music.
How would you describe your sound for readers who have never heard your music before?
This album is definitely guitar driven. In general I see myself as a pop artist.
So, where did your journey in music begin?
I grew up in a musical household. My father was a music teacher and I had piano lessons from when I was 4. I hated it and when I became a teenager I quit. He didn’t talk to me for a year after that. I got into my first band at 14 and made music ever since.
And what artists (or anything else) influence and inspire your work?
Too many to mention. But inspiration can come from anywhere really – not just art. I never get bored of looking at William Eggleston’s photography though.
A hard one, but do you have a favourite song on Scientist of Man? Or a couple of favourites? And why?
My younger brother played me this song snippet. It was literally the first thing he had ever written on an acoustic guitar. I really liked it and asked him if he would let me have it. I rearranged it and that’s how ‘Philly’ came about.
That song has a very hopeful vibe to me and I didn’t write it – that helps as well.
We’d love to know what your dream venue or festival would be (anywhere in the world)?
Right now, anywhere would be nice… But maybe Radio City Music Hall. Just because I’ve never been to New York.
As an Austrian artist, are there any new or underrated musicians out there that we ought to know of?
Lots – Monsterheart, Spring and the Land, Good Wilson, Farewell Dear Ghost, Tiger Family, Granada, Oxyjane, Stereoface – just to name a few…
In this weird, panic-inducing time, do you have any words of wisdom for our readers?
Hakuna Matata. And just keep swimming.
Could you share some songs we can all chill out to or dance around to?
I made a playlist a couple of weeks ago – check it out:
Thank you so much for chatting with us! Good luck with your music and hopefully see you at a gig in London when we’re allowed back into the world : )
Thank you. Be safe out there!
Keep up with Laurie through the links below: