Little Scream: Ground control to Little Scream

Ground control to Little Scream

Little Scream: Defying gravity
Photo: Rachel Granofsky

A month after being launched, Little Scream's The Golden Record finally lands home

Even though she’s on the second leg of her current U.S. tour, local indie pop wonder Laurel "Little Scream" Sprengelmeyer isn’t blasé yet. Reached over the phone in Cincinnati moments before doing her sound check at Memorial Hall, where she’s been invited to play for the second time by the MusicNOW festival, the singer sounds like she’s still smitten by the sights of the road. "It’s an old building in the downtown area of the city. It has a Masonic feeling to it. It’s beautiful," she enthuses.

Weeks before, she was taken aback during a show in her native Iowa, a state she never really left. "Even though I feel like a Montreal musician, because I worked out most of the songs and my approach to playing them there, I mostly write about my growing up experiences. So it’s been kind of neat to take these songs out into the world. It makes me think constantly of these."

While Sprengelmeyer eventually developed a local network of collaborators and friends, her introduction to Montreal’s cultural community was still challenging. "He was francophone," she specifies while talking about the boyfriend she followed here. "We were in a really francophone environment and I wasn’t speaking any French at the time. I thought the city was really cool, but I didn’t know how to fit there."

Then one night she ended up at a party where she finally met kindred spirits. "That’s where I met some of my best friends in Montreal!" Among them was filmmaker Shannon Walsh, who would later direct Little Scream’s haunting music video for The Lamb, and of course Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, who helped Laurel produce her Golden Record.

TAKE-OFFS AND LANDINGS

The original Golden Records are phonograph records which were included on the two Voyager space shuttles that were launched into space in 1977. These artefacts contained various pictures and sounds, giving a glimpse of Earth’s life forms and cultures to potential extraterrestrial intelligent beings. "It’s probably one of the most poignant, and yet futile, gestures, and that’s what I like about the whole thing," Sprengelmeyer says.

Just like its inspiration, Little Scream’s first CD tries to encapsulate years of experiences, feelings and thoughts in ten tracks. "My Golden Record goes all over the place too and tries to sum up things that can’t be summed up at all!" bluntly notes the artist, who also painted the album cover. "I used to separate those two aspects [the music and the paintings] completely, but as I worked on the album, people around me started to point out the relationship between them. It’s been interesting for me to see them converge. It’s started to make more sense to me now too, and it’s getting me excited."

She’s not the only one.

Little Scream

w/ Rebecca Foon, November May, Marcus Paquin

At Il Motore (179 Jean-Talon W.)

May 25

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