LP is ready to blow Bluesfest away for her Australian debut

LP is ready to blow Bluesfest away for her Australian debut

Words by Tammy Walters

The energetic, unreserved US rocker makes her Australian debut.

Bluesfest boasts an impeccable lineup for 2020 with a mound of familiar faces returning to the festival such as Patti Smith and Her Band, Crowded House, Allen Stone, Larkin Poe and Frank Carter, as well as Bluesfest veterans The Cat Empire, Harts and John Butler.

This year, there’s also a long list of talent making their debut on Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm soil. Among that talent is soulful New York singer-songwriter LP, also known as Laura Pergolizzi.

“I’m very excited! I can’t wait! I’ve been waiting to come down there forever,” LP says.

The Bluesfest slot doubles as LP’s first-ever Australian appearance. A 15-year career in the indie rock space has spawned five studio albums, including her most recent Heart to Mouth from 2018. 

“I thought the record before the last one, Lost on You, would get played down there but it didn’t,” LP continues. “You never know with radio and the world in music is a weird one. Nothing surprises me anymore in the music business so I just go with it.

“In my career, it’s always been when it happens, it happens. I figure I’ll just keep putting out the work and motherfuckers will catch up when they can.”

While Australia is late to the game, LP has rallied a global following and she has Lost on You to largely thank for that. The haunting title track eclipsed 500 million-plus streams, going platinum in Russia, Poland, Greece, Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany, and topping the charts in 13 countries.

With its exceptional critical acclaim and mammoth success, LP was bombarded by live television performance requests including The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Jools Holland and The Late Late Show with James Corden, and even joined the Coachella camp.

“It was pretty crazy. I tell this story all the time about how I was dropped from Warner Brothers, my label, after I played them ‘Muddy Waters’ and ‘Lost on You’ and ‘Strange’ and at that point I was like, ‘Shit. Now what?’.

“I didn’t know the best was yet to come but it just goes to show you, you can hand someone over your best and they can go, ‘Eh, I don’t get it. Bye’,” she says.

“Like that song could still be sitting on my computer doing nothing and going nowhere and there’s so many songs that I feel that people and bands and artists have lost in the shuffle. I always think to myself that I’m so lucky I’m one of those people that caught a break.”

Along with her own project, the widely outspoken androgynous rocker has delved into the pop world, lending her songs to some of the biggest names in music including Cher, Rihanna, the Backstreet Boys, Leona Lewis, Myléne Farmer, Céline Dion and Christina Aguilera. In 2018, she also contributed ‘It’s Over’ to Morrissey’s cover album.

While she’s always up for collaboration, for the time being, LP is focusing on extending her own songbook.

“I haven’t had time for anyone else because I have a new record coming out this year that I’ve been working on and it’s nice to be my own priority at this point, but I’m always up for writing with people,” LP shares.

“I’ve got the most part [of a new record] down with the writing, but I’m always writing. I just wrote one that will probably make the record just last week that I was surprised at because it was almost like I was done.”

For 2018’s Heart to Mouth the stakes were high in following up the global smash of Lost on You. Thankfully, the result was flawless. Now, going into album number six, LP has adopted a cool, calm and collected approach, reflective of her natural character. 

“My biggest thing with Heart to Mouth was that I wasn’t trying to sound anything like Lost on You. I think that was exactly what happened and I felt good about it and that it was its own thing.

“On this record, I’m not even thinking anything like that. I felt very inspired this past year and I’ve been really enjoying this record. I’m almost more into songwriting than I ever was. I’m really inspired not just by my circumstances but I’m inspired to write a better song and communicate more deeply than I ever have,” LP explains.

Given her rich history of writing about her relationships, the singer, who identifies as gender fluid and has grown into her enigmatic androgyny, confirms such themes will continue to run throughout her music.

For now though, punters should ready themselves for the Bluesfest train and the energetic LP debut that awaits.

LP comes to 170 Russell on Saturday April 11. Grab your tickets via Bluesfest Touring. She also plays Bluesfest which goes down from Thursday April 9 to Monday April 13.