Independent pop/folk/acoustic singer/songwriter Lara Landon, released her new album There Is Grace last month! Full of heartfelt and poignant ballads and worshipful melodies, this album is one of our favourites of 2014! I had the privilege of interviewing Lara recently via email, about the new album. We discussed the album, what she hopes listeners will experience when hearing the new songs, as well as her goals and dreams for the year ahead. We also touched upon the recent passing away of her father as well, and which song is ministering to her right now during this moment of grief. Check out the interview below.
1. First of all (and I hope this isn’t too personal), I and on behalf of everyone here at 365 Days of Inspiring Media would like to send our condolences to you and your family during this time of mourning. We are sorry that your dad passed away, especially this close to your album release date. Have you found that some of the songs on your new album (or even songs from your older albums) are ministering to you during this season of grief?
It’s so strange to see now how the songs apply to perfectly to what I’m going through right now and I had no idea all this would happen while writing them. “There Is Grace” and “Right Now” are especially comforting… In “Right Now” the chorus says “Right now, I feel your love surround me, right now you wrap your arms around me. And I see the invisible through eyes of faith…” I wrote that about God, but now it’s also true about my dad.
2. On a brighter note, I have really enjoyed your previous albums, namely Overcome and your 2009 album Beloved. How would you compare this new album to your previous ones? If there is one thing you hope listeners can obtain from listening There is Grace, what’ll it be?
Thank you! I hope it’s another honest album that people can really feel comes from my heart. I wanted to include some different styles and upbeat songs but have the lyrics all ring true.
3. I noticed that there is two tracks of the title track, both the original studio recording and the acoustic version? How has ‘There is Grace’ the song impacted you recently? Was there a reason behind placing ‘There is Grace’ as both the first and last song- if so, what was it?
Yeah- the album is sandwiched between the two versions of “There Is Grace”… I think it’s the first and last thing I want people to hear.
4. You have quite the amount of collaborations on your album, from Garrett Miller and Morgann McClanahan to Jaye Thomas. How was it having these people collaborate with you on the album, and who would you consider singing a duet with in the future?
It was really fun and something I hadn’t done before! I think the human voice is the greatest instrument and it adds so much to have all these different voices on the album. I’d definitely love to do it again.
5. I really love the title track ‘There is Grace’, and how in our own lives, there is always grace and hope in every situation we are in. What are your favourite songs on the album, either to sing live, or to have recorded? I know when your album was funded last year, it was provisionally titled ‘Free’, and a song called ‘Turn It Around’ even debuted online as well. Would these uncut melodies be reserved for your next album?
Yes! I’m glad you asked about those songs. I decided to divide the songs up because I ended up recording so many. I saved the really soulful vintage songs like “Turn It Around” for an EP that should be out soon.
6. Who do you look up to in the music industry, either as a spiritual mentor, or someone you ask advice from? If anyone reading this interview wants to move into the music industry, what would you say to them as advice- how would you succeed in the industry with your values intact?
I really admire Tiffany Lee who’s also known as Plumb. She’s always stuck to her own style and maintained her artistry which is so unique and even edgy and dark at times, she’s kept her music fresh and relevant over many years and always puts family first.
I’d say try to make music you’d listen to yourself. Sometimes it’s wise to listen to people’s advice and compromise a little, but in the end you have to put your name on it and enjoy writing, recording and singing it so make sure you know what you like. Be you to the best of your ability, people like authenticity and originality and everyone is original if they are themselves.
7. For anyone who is reading this interview and is feeling discouraged or down, either because of something in their life currently or something spoken over them, what can you say to them?
The enemy is constantly trying to kill, steal and destroy your dreams and your identity. The easiest way to do that is through capturing your thoughts. I journal every day so I can see what I’m thinking on paper- write down what’s on your mind, what people have said and process it. Ask God about it, so you can sort the truth from the lies and be able to renew your mind and your thoughts. I like to say “thoughts are things” and “words make worlds”. Be careful about what you let go around in your head.
8. When you don’t tour, what do you love to do/see/experience? Any new music/books/TV shows that you are currently into that you would like to share with our readers?
I highly recommend two books: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell and Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldridge. I like watching TED talks because I feel like I’m learning something and not just wasting time but it’s entertaining as well. I also like all the documentaries about the food industry that are coming out now- It’s really waking people up!
9. Is there anything else that you would like to add that hasn’t been covered in this interview yet? Any parting words or encouragements to those who could need it?
Sure! There are two states of mind that every thought, action and feeling comes from: Love or Fear. Be mindful to choose love. This is hard for me. But when at all possible choose love.
Be sure to check out Lara Landon’s new album There Is Grace in stores now! Also, check out Lara’s youtube page here, as well as the lyric videos below some off her recent songs from this album!