When an actor gets their first big break out in L.A., most folks can quickly differentiate between the pretty faces and those with a burning creative core underneath. A dead giveaway for the latter? Other than a luminous performance that transcends the screen and leaves a lasting impact on the audience…maybe the most obvious tell is passionately and outwardly pursuing a separate discipline.
Just take a look at Lauren Lakis. The Baltimore native’s ever-growing feature-length filmography began in 2011, and while taking the whole singer-songwriter thing seriously probably did cross her mind several times, it really wasn’t until Lakis relocated from Los Angeles to Austin about ten years back that she doubled down on her musicianship. Lakis stayed busy at the turn of the last decade with her 2018 debut LP Ferocious, 2019’s Sad Girl Breakfast EP, and Daughter Language from 2021, not to mention recent live appearances at SXSW and Levitation alongside the likes of KUTX airwave alumni Holy Wave and Ringo Deathstarr.
Seemingly unable to take an extended siesta at this stage in her career, Lauren Lakis has been building hype around her third full-length A Fiesta and a Hell, out later this fall. This album perfectly preserves Lauren’s legacy as a rockstar stuck in a hard place with an authentically-emotional, infectiously-magnetic take on the shoegaze genre, as heard already on its delectably droning, reptilian crawl of a first glimpse, “Take My Hand“. Today, A Fiesta and a Hell‘s sophomore offering lobs Lakis’ already-leering mystique straight back to the late-’70s/early-mid-’80s golden age of post-punk goth rock with a stern ultimatum surrounding the divisive tactics of mainstream media and the capitalism that backs it. “Terror Tears” fearlessly lets the mascara flow freely and floods the ducts with deft retro dynamics, sweet-yet-sinister verses that strike a contrast from its animosity-anchored choruses, and a fuzzy-beyond-belief bridge section chock-full of vocal delay, that, altogether, expands Lakis’ purview to an almost satirical sense of sick dystopian schadenfreude.