Lauren Marsh has the sweetest voice and these honest lyrics that really standout. Se started playing in coffee shops along the Jersey Shore and she got the opportunity to open for the legendary Don McLean. Her song "Take Me With You (When You Go)" was inspired by road trips with friends and it'll make you want to hit the road and explore. We talked to her about her music and her upcoming Revival.
What first got you interested in music?
I grew up in a very musical household. My dad played guitar and my mom sang. There was always some kind of music playing in our house and it was infectious. When I was really little my parents got me an amp with a microphone and I was hooked.
Tell me about growing up on the Jersey Shore, what were some of your favorite memories?
Lauren: My favorite memories growing up were seeing the ocean for the first time after a long winter. We’d usually have to park far away from the beach because of the crowds. I remember collecting all of our things for the beach and making the hike to the boardwalk. As soon as we were out of the car you could smell the salt air and as we got closer I could start to hear the waves crashing on the beach. We had to climb the stairs onto the boardwalk to get a view of the ocean and in that moment it always felt like anything was possible.
You used to play at coffee shops and now you’re sharing stages with huge acts. How did that progression happen and how does it feel?
Lauren: I have a really amazing support system. My friends and family have my back and have believed in me every step of the way. I know I couldn’t be where I am today without them. It’s been an endless amount of long nights performing countless shows and it’s been an incredible journey.
Tell me about performing with Don McLean! He’s a legend!
Lauren: That was such a fun show! The NYC City Winery is a beautiful venue. The staff and sound engineers could not have been more welcoming, as well as Don McLean and his band. I performed solo acoustically and was really honored to get a standing ovation from the sold out crowd. It was a lot more than I was expecting. Don and his band made it a point to meet me as I walked off stage. They were all so welcoming and humble. I then got to enjoy their set, which of course was amazing. This is still one of my favorite shows to date.
What has been one of the biggest challenges for you in your career?
Lauren: Starting out, every artist goes through long periods of playing lots of shows where just about nobody comes out to see you. It can really drain your energy and leave you doubting your chances for success. Coupled with this is the conflict of missing a lot of your own personal life. If I had a performance scheduled or a really great opportunity, I put that first.
I’m really lucky to have incredible people in my life who understand and support these decisions. But in those times, you have to find the strength and commitment to be positive and keep moving forward in your career.
I am past all that now and my shows are really doing great. But the loss of personal time, especially during special family events, is always a challenge.
One time I had tickets to see Sara Bareilles with my family, who I am such a fangirl of (I LOVE HER), but I got asked to perform live on the radio and I had to miss her show. Ultimately there really is no choosing because pursuing my music is always what I want to be doing. Later, I got to see Sara in Waitress (so amazing), so all ended up well in the world.
What’s the story behind “Take Me With You (When You Go)?
Lauren: “Take Me With You (When You Go)” explores the ups and downs of friendships/relationships. The initial inspiration came from road trips with friends that I had made to the Jersey Shore when I was just starting to drive. We were all tasting freedom for the first time and had no idea what was waiting for us on the horizon. Most of the verses talk about trying to communicate during tough times. Then, as the song unfolds, it becomes clear that no matter the bumps along the way you can all still be there for one another. You’re all along for the ride and not going to leave anyone behind. This song is my way of thanking the people who were there for me, for always taking me with them.
Tell me about REVIVAL? Are you looking forward to releasing it into the world?
Lauren: Revival is a big part of me and my experiences. The inspiration behind Revival started when my song "Dear Love" off my last record starting gaining attention. It was featured on NCIS: New Orleans and currently exceeds 5 million Spotify streams. While I was recording "Dear Love," I fooled around with the song being full band and up-tempo, but eventually decided against that. I kept "Dear Love" simple and intimate with just my ukulele, acoustic guitar, and my voice.
When the song really hit, I received positive feedback about how keeping the song intimate allowed for me to be me. I decided for Revival to revive the acoustic based sound I started with at open mics and focused the band production around my songwriting. I can’t wait for all the songs on Revival to be released. I hope that anyone who listens feels like they get to know me through the stories I’m sharing.
What’s your best piece of advice to young women?
Lauren: Listen to your gut. You know what’s right for you and what feels wrong. You know yourself better than anyone. Never let anyone tell you what you should be doing. It’s always good to get advice or hear about someone else’s experience, but that does not need to be the path you take. You can always make your own path. Always do what’s right for you and don’t apologize for it.