Laura Oden, is releasing her sophomore full-length, Peel Back Another Layer, on CD and digital formats today, January 6th.
Singles: Laura Oden – “Try Not To Cry” / “The Best Things In Life”
Photo credit: Charlie Earnshaw
Anchorage, AK singer-songwriter Laura Oden was born in Oklahoma, grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Texas and spent ten years after in Washington, DC, but she didn’t find her home until a 1994 move to Alaska. “Anchorage is where I found my people,” Oden says. “I originally went to Alaska to visit a friend and 6 months later I was moving there. It’s just a place that draws you in.”
Laura Oden – “Try Not To Cry”
Oden fell in love with Alaskan nature in its beauty, brutality and vastness. Over time, she immersed herself in Anchorage’s music community, eventually becoming the Founder and Director of the Anchorage Music Co-op, now in its 4th year. The Music Co-op has received widespread community support from individuals as well as sponsorship from Alaska Public Media, KNBA, KONR, Spenard Jazzfest and The Anchorage Press. Oden has produced 23 Artist Showcases, an Under-21 Open Mic series and a large-scale city-wide creative placemaking project called An Urban Conflux.
Laura Oden – “The Best Things In Life“
In 2013, Oden released her debut full-length Alchemy. The album captured her spiritual and artistic journey with songs about taking responsibility for one’s own experience, living with passion and an open heart, feeling deeply for loved ones and ultimately having faith and believing the “magic” or Alchemy needed will appear when needed.
Oden is now preparing to release her follow-up effort, the 10-song sophomore album Peel Back Another Layer. “This record felt like a natural progression from my first CD Alchemy, which was about learning how to express myself,” says Oden.
The first single and opening track, “The Best Things In Life,” was written as the closing song for a Creative Placemaking event in Anchorage called The Urban Conflux, conceived of and produced by Laura Oden. This was a large-scale experience in which 30 events were planned all over town and the public was invited to join, only to be interrupted mid-event by musicians who lead participants of all 30 events to town square park for a two-hour retelling of the history of Anchorage through original music, spoken word and movement. “The Best Things In Life” was the finale, performed on a cloudless 70 degree day to hundreds of residents and visitors.
Oden had this to say about the song and its meaning:
I have a group of friends that have been getting together most summer Sundays for more than a decade. Rain or shine, from about April to November, we gather around a bonfire. The song captures our idea that the most valuable thing we can do during our brief time on this planet is to spend time with the people that cause us to love and do good things while we’re here. Those are the people I want to grow old with, sip wine with, and help out.
The second single, “Try Not To Cry,” is a meditation on the uphill climb of attempting to find peace and a settled mind in the aftermath of a gut-wrenching experience. Adobe & Teardrops says of the track, “Oden’s remarkable vocal performance makes this song, an attempt to grapple with a crushing loss, an arresting experience. Oden brushes against the confines of folk music and weaves jazz-like intervals into her delivery.”
Peel Back Another Layer, recorded in Anchorage by Evan Phillips and mixed by Glenn Barratt (Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Teddy Pendergrass), is out January 6th on CD and digital formats. In February, Oden will be touring in support of the release, including a performance in the first Alaska Room at Folk Alliance International.