When it comes to shooting music videos about loss, Lauren Lakis knows Portland, Oregon, the place to hit record. In her new video “Lead Us On,” the singer bears a soft smile while she shreds amidst the cloudy haze of the Pacific Northwest. It’s a touch melancholic for sure, but to Lakis, the song is the high point of her debut full-length solo album Ferocious, released last week (June 22).
“This track is one of the more upbeat, uptempo tracks, believe it or not,” she tells Vanyaland. “Ferocious can get quite doom-y and gloom-y, and I think ‘Lead Us On’ is one of the more hopeful tracks. The album itself serves to encapsulate the grieving process, and ‘Lead Us On’ is the first step toward surrender, acceptance, and moving on.”
Her question “do you want it?” isn’t a beckon, but rather an ultimatum-type question that references a couple inching closer to the dissolution of a relationship. The subject remains somber, but for Lakis, the push for emotional progress matters, even if it’s a step towards surrender.
“I was beginning to come to terms with the idea that perhaps going our separate ways was actually the only answer,” Lakis explains. “I was moving into the acceptance phase. My thought was, if you’re certain that this is what you want, then I trust you to lead the way.”
But with Lakis’ muted confidence on display as she saunters through the outskirts of the city, maybe it’s more of her leading us to lo-fi perfection and not the other way around.
“My producer, Billy Burke, and I traveled to PDX from LA to visit and play a show for the label I’m on, Cavity Search Records, and the we shot the music video pretty spontaneously the day after our show,” she adds. “We weren’t necessarily intending to do this as we planned for the trip, but we were shooting random clips along the road trip and around town and thought, “Mmmmm this would be the perfect backdrop for ‘Lead Us On’! That trip was magical and I hope that comes through via the video.”