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laura gibson

Episode 5: Nachos for One

Singer songwriter Laura Gibson on how a song was born from the Beatles, fondue, and a senior salsa night.

Laura is an internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer, who has toured four continents and has the distinct honor of performing the very first NPR Tiny Desk concert. She also earned her MFA in fiction writing from Hunter College completing her thesis in the back of a tour van. 


Laura Gibson  00:00

I always thought that nachos were the most lonely food to eat by yourself until I was on tour alone and I went to a fondue restaurant and got fondue for one


Eden Dawn  00:17

A pod…Oh, I wasn't ready.


Fiona McCann  00:19

Okay. Welcome to we can print this.


Eden Dawn  00:22

It's a podcast telling the story you don't know. Behind this story you do know.


Fiona McCann  00:28

I'm Fiona McCann,


Eden Dawn  00:29

and I am Eden Dawn.


Fiona McCann  00:31

And every week we interview a writer of some kind about the stories behind their stories.


Eden Dawn  00:38

And this time we have the lovely, wonderful talented Lord Gibson. Laura is an internationally acclaimed multi instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer who has toured four continents, and holds the distinct honor of performing the very first NPR Tiny Desk concert. Wow, that's cool. Between albums, she also earned an MFA in fiction writing from Hunter College completing her thesis in the back of a frickin tour van. Now, that's impressive. She's cooler than us. And Laura talks to us this week about ear worms and how something can just get inside your head and take hold and then how it morphs over time into becoming for her a song she wrote.


Fiona McCann  01:29

And you know, you can have ear worms that are audio, which I think is the most famous use of the phrase but you can also just have sort of these ideas or little niggly things that may not be a song that got on your ear, you couldn't stop singing, but could also be an idea or a thought, or some little obsession that just kept happening at the back of your mind until you finally got it out.


Eden Dawn  01:48

Yet, when we were talking to Laura, I was thinking about, for people who don't know, in Salem, Oregon, there is the greatest amusement park that's ever existed. It is called Enchanted Forest. It is this family owned amusement park that this fella started in the 60s by carving into the woods and making all these kinds of like, cement nursery rhyme things anyways, it's a delight. And


Fiona McCann  02:11

I mean, I think you have to make it clear, it is really an amusement park and like no other you're not talking about a Disneyland, massive metal roller coaster. I mean, this is one guy who made things out of wood, in the most bizarre and kind of amazing way in forest,


Eden Dawn  02:26

like in the forest in Oregon, where it rains a good chunk of the time, and yet you still go. It was just like a spot we all love. And I just like couldn't shake how cool of a thing it was. And then years and years later, as a reporter it became their 45th anniversary and I pitched it as a story and got to go write it in perhaps an unprofessional but wonderful move. I took my now husband with me who proposed to me while I was right after I got done interviewing the patriarch of the family who's in his 90s Now, in a black light glowing seven dwarfs mine rip off thing that's so wonderful, but I couldn't shake it in my brain my whole life of like how cool that place was. And I wanted to know more about it. And literally, it became a story and then I just sort of appointed myself as the enchanted forest editor. And every time it needed written about after that, as you know, I was like, done, did it. I'm here.


Fiona McCann 

I know some of us were like, I've also been there. Nevermind, nevermind. Oh, doesn't matter what it was the perfect confluence then which I think is sort of worth noting. Sometimes you have the idea and you have to wait for its time to be right. And you're like, you pitch it and you pitch it. And your editor is constantly like Yeah, but why now why now? And then finally you're like, an anniversary! Right? Yeah, it worked.


Eden Dawn

Yeah, it did actually feel good to to have it in print and to get to go and ask him, because that's the greatest part about journalism is you get to ask people questions that maybe normally wouldn't answer you those questions. You're like, no, let's sit down and official capacity and let me grill you on all the things I wanted to know about this place since I was nine years old. And then they answer it was so delightful. And it really scratched an itch in my brain and felt so satisfying.


Fiona McCann  04:17

And it has become the definitive story about Enchanted Forest. Let me be clear,


Eden Dawn  04:21

well, you're doing that Irish thing where you're just a super cheerleader and admire and I love it so much.


Fiona McCann  04:28

It's true. It's true. You won't see anything like it. I guarantee it's funny. When I was thinking about air worms, I I couldn't stop thinking about audio, ear worms and I got stuck on that. And the well


Eden Dawn  04:40

you also have an ear for music in a way that I do not have. I mean a you can sing and I cannot and be


Fiona McCann  04:48

Not true. We do a great “Had the Time of my Life.”


Eden Dawn  04:52

I mean, we do have a great Dirty Dancing karaoke bit where we do we perform together and I'm so close to being able to left you so close to being able to Patrick Swayze you


Fiona McCann  05:04

someday we'll do the lift, we should go back and practice on that log in the river again.


Eden Dawn

True, but I think you have a real ear for music. And so I was wondering, when ear worms comes to mind is something else rings true for you.


Fiona McCann 

I mean, the one thing I can keep thinking of is this song. Her Name is Rio to remember that song.


Eden Dawn

Yes. And my 21st birthday at midnight, there was a Duran Duran cover band, and they played that song for me and I danced to it just after drinking so many shots.


Fiona McCann

And Duran Duran, were kinda like, cool, but pop in some way that they somehow managed, or at least that was my impression of them when I was like, younger. And I remember that song was I, it's one of the few songs I can remember the moment I heard it, I can remember the seeing the video on television and be like, Whoa, swimsuits. My god. It's racy and sexy and I don't even know what's going on here. And then immediately pulling out of my Smash Hits, which was our like, sort of Pop Magazine, the double page spread of like John Taylor, the guitarist from Duran Duran, who was like my heartthrob, but that song was so meaningful for me. And as you know, Eden 750 years later, when I am sitting in my desk at Portland Monthly, and I get an email, saying Duran Duran is coming to town, would anyone like to interview them. And I think I pretty much fell off my chair, because I immediately found myself transported back with that song in my ear. And I was like, oh, and I got to interview John Taylor, like the hottest of the lot, if I recall. So that's the that's a time I remember something that got stuck in my ear when I was really, really young finally came to fruition so many years later,


Eden Dawn

Which was so entertaining for us. Because as your roommate offers me at the time, and as your friend slash tormentor, that all of us were outside of your glass wall office, putting our foreheads against it and harassing you, while you were attempting to complete this interview, you want to do your whole life. And we basically all turned into like older teenage brothers.


Fiona McCann

And it wasn't awkward, wasn't awkward at all. The thing is, it didn't matter what you were doing there, I only had eyes for John Taylor, who was on the phone.


Eden Dawn

So that's what happens when you work with this same team of writers for a long time, because we basically just find ways to kind of harass each other lightly during interviews. It's true. It's true. And you got a great story. And you went backstage and you met him and you danced. I know. So because you came in the next day, just glowing like a schoolgirl.


Fiona McCann

But you know what, I still don't really know where that song completely came from. To be honest, despite I got a bit starstruck and I don't even remember what I asked him in the moment. But I didn't get to the sort of behind the story on that particular song, which is why it's so interesting that we have Laura Gibson today telling us sort of about the birth of a song, which began in a way that you may not completely expect. Yeah, and that's how your worms work, right? We don't we don't understand why they get into our brain. They just do. And then you have to find a way to eradicate them. And she figured it out. You write it out, you write it out.


Eden Dawn  08:09

Laura is an internationally acclaimed multi instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer. She is also an excellent friend who went to see Magic Mike 3 with me last week without having seen 1 or 2. So that's


Laura Gibson  08:26

I did get a very good summary of 1 and 2 on on the way there from Eden


Fiona McCann  08:29

really hard to summarize, because there's so complex


Eden Dawn  08:32

well, 2 is the feminist anthem of our time. And it's really about friendship and trying to make sure you don't get too lackadaisical in your pleasing of women. That's what I would like to say. And a way


Fiona McCann  08:43

to please women is to go to see Magic Mike 3 with said women


Eden Dawn  08:48

or Magic Mike 2 at home.


Fiona McCann  08:51

Okay, I'm impressed. And also Laura, this is the first time we've had a singer songwriter writer


Laura Gibson  08:56

in the studio. So this exciting. It's just a lot of drama inside my head.


Fiona McCann  09:01

A lot of drama inside your head. We want to hear all about. Thank you for coming into us. Thank


Eden Dawn  09:06

you for coming. We love you so much. And we're going to talk about the story behind a song on your album goners.


Laura Gibson  09:16

Yes, the song is called performers. They remember exactly how it started. Tell us it was 1964


Fiona McCann  09:27

I didn't expect that. I didn't know. Were you even born that


Eden Dawn  09:31

no shave Benjamin Button


Laura Gibson  09:33

happening. The Beatles were about to play their second set on The Ed Sullivan Show in Miami. It recorded in Miami at the Fontainebleau hotel. I did.


Laura Gibson  09:46

So yeah, February 1964. I had really been wanting to work on writing fiction outside of songs but was an kind of in the very last bit of playing shows on my previous record, which was called the Empire Builder. And those songs were just felt like the most personal songs I'd put into the world. And I had just been performing them performing them before them. I had two months earlier, been to Europe for a festival. And then I had come back and, and was desperately wanting to take a break from performing and just write, but hadn't finished his last shows. And so I had a two week tour in Europe. That was going to be my last two weeks, and I was so so tired of playing. And this show offer came in to play a festival in the Canary Islands, but it


Fiona McCann  10:46

Give it up for the party.


Laura Gibson  10:51

I had never been to the Canary Islands.


Fiona McCann  10:53

Did you know? Yeah.


Laura Gibson  10:56

I had no idea. But I, it seemed beautiful. I knew there was a volcano and I liked volcanoes.


Eden Dawn  11:02

Volcanoes, I have a quick question. Were you touring with a band or were you by yourself? So


Laura Gibson  11:06

I had done a bunch of touring with the band. And then the last little bit, I was just hitting these last few festivals. And I think it would have been about three weeks total, until this offer came in. And it was just a week later. And so it extend my tour to be four weeks. And I thought, well, it's a little, it's more money. And when else am I gonna get to the Canary Islands? And so I said yes.


Fiona McCann

And even though you were wrecked at this point?


Laura Gibson

I was like, Well, I wasn't wrecked when the offer came in. The offer came in. This is a mistake I've made so many times after really long tour thinking like, I'll be super down to spend a week in Barcelona and hang out and I never am at the end. Because it sounds great, though, doesn't it? Yeah. And you're over there. So I was so so tired. And I suspected I would be so so tired. But I thought I just got to do it. And they said they would the festival said we will put you up for a whole week. That will in between week so so it just felt worth it. Yeah, for a paid week in the Canary Islands


Eden Dawnin a delightful place where you're like, I can recoup that.


Laura Gibson

Yeah, I'll see the sunshine. It'll be great. And festivals are very overwhelming for me, but can be very fun. And, and I was doing all these shows solo after having a band for a lot of a lot of tour. And


Eden Dawn  12:30

I just want to say festivals I think are overwhelming for everyone. As somebody who can't play anything


Laura Gibson  12:36

Maybe less overwhelming when you get to hide backstage then actually,


Fiona McCann  12:40

I mean, they're so fun. That's true. I mean, as a spectator, festival spectator,


Eden Dawn  12:47

right? Yeah, yeah. Okay. Well, I was I was trying to relate to our guest.


Fiona McCann  12:51

So no, but there's the porta potties are


Eden Dawn  12:54

tough. But other than that, no backstage you get the nice one.


Fiona McCann  12:57

Yeah, the artists tent.


Laura Gibson  13:00

A lot of them were these very wonderful UK festivals. But the people there come with their, like their boots and their Oh, yeah, and all their stuff.. And I, as someone trying to fit as many records into their suitcases possible sell for merch,


Fiona McCann 

you didn't bring your wedding boots?


Laura Gibson

No, that's there's no space for that. Oh my god. And so so it just felt I was doing music, very muddy festivals that seemed really fun. But you can't quite enter in fully like in the way that other people are.


Fiona McCann  13:36

To explain Eden that they are extremely muddy even you can't even imagine you if you are not,


Eden Dawn  13:41

you're saying that like I haven't been the girlfriend of band members, festivals and even toured festivals in the UK,


Fiona McCann  13:49

Let me Mansplain Festivals to you.


Eden Dawn  13:51

I’ve been backstage at Nottingham Forest or Sherwood Forest, whatever?


Laura Gibson  13:56

So I had had great shows it was I met lots of wonderful people and was so so tired at the same time and, and also playing these songs. You know, after the pandemic, as I was relearning all these songs, it sort of seemed absurd to me how so much of my life I'd gotten on stage and share these really vulnerable things. And in the form of songs which you can hide behind a bit. Also, it almost starts to sound like you're lying about your own story because you've told it so many times, or you're like performing this version of yourself. But you've since moved on but you're still sort of in the form of singing performing this version of your for yourself and telling your story in a certain way. Because it's in within the songs and play


Fiona McCann  14:46

you might tell it differently.


Eden Dawn 14:48

That's so interesting, because you have to stay present tense in this emotional moment while you're singing and performing the song. In reality, you might be like I've moved on this has been healed or I feel differently About the speech just stay kind of locked in that moment and


Laura Gibson  15:03

I don't often play songs for my first record because they just sound very lonely. It's just I think it was very lonely and, and but there is a way to reconnect with that. Like it's you know, your, your sort of capturing moment and emotional moment and and then entering back into that is what's so great about songs, but also can just be tiring. And sometimes I'm just like, I'm done with this moment in my life. I want to, I want to move on to the next moment. And yeah, so it's just this strange version of, of performing. And then And then also, I'm much less on social media now. But it was kind of at the time where you're supposed to be just letting everybody know how awesome your your tour is going and constantly posting and like, meanwhile, I'm just, you know, I was eating nachos alone, which is wonderful, ever so I always thought that nachos were the most lonely food to eat by yourself until I was on tour alone. And I went to a fondue restaurant, and got fondue for one. Yeah, I think they kept doubting me. Like, I was like, no have the house fondue and like, are you sure, like no one will be joined. Just leave it off. Leave a napkin here in case


Fiona McCann  16:21

to bring someone out for you. Make a friend. But it is so funny thinking about you having to like you were just saying having to get on social media and be like, Yay, coming to you from such a place where everything's going amazingly. Yeah. Living the


Laura Gibson  16:38

dream. And, and then you're


Fiona McCann  16:40

like nachos for one.


Eden Dawn

Hashtag Blessed. Nachos for One.


Laura Gibson  16:43

Yeah, I'm going to I'm going to have a restaurant someday that sells nachos for one.


Eden Dawn  16:51

I like that. It's great. So you get the Canary Islands offer?


Laura Gibson  16:56

So I get Yes, I get the Canary Islands offer? I say yes. I'm going to be gone for a month, which is a long time to be alone. But it does not occurred to me because I wanted to make the money and do the thing. And it's a vacation and Canary Yeah. And and so. And at the time, I was sort of trying to decide I'd moved to New York for grad school, but was felt like Portland was home and I was still trying to figure out or relationship if it was long distance or what was happening. And so it was like, felt like a very hard time. It just felt hard to kind of extend that I had been sort of living in limbo for a year and a half touring this record. And then just to extend the limbo a month more felt just extra exhausting. Yeah. And somehow


Fiona McCann  17:45

excruciating. It's like seeing a light at the end of a tunnel that just keeps moving away from you. Yeah.


Eden Dawn  17:51

Should we have our across the pond correspondent Fiona McCann, quickly explained to us the Canary Islands.


Fiona McCann  17:59

How do you encapsulate the Canary Islands because it's like a


Eden Dawn  18:02

it's a tourist spot?


Fiona McCann  18:03

It's a major tourist spot, particularly for English people. And it's sort of like grand kid area party spot. But also, maybe back in the original days, it was like a young person's party spot, but I feel like now it's, it's become a little bit like the Florida maybe, I guess that makes sense like Florida have okay. Because even though it's not an England, I don't know if that makes sense. But it will become clear.


Laura Gibson  18:32

So it was very beautiful. And the actual festival will be taking place the following weekend. And it was in this beautiful little village in the center of the island. But I was not staying there. I was staying in the hotel zone. And which is made a lot of sense because I could walk to places I could hop on a tourist bus to the volcano and it has made the most sense for staying


Fiona McCann  18:57

but also like the hotel zones to be clear it's like this is where you go for your package deal. All the meals all the entertainment all in.


Laura Gibson  19:05

so I brought a video of the downstairs of the hotel that I took because I went to the little club downstairs and


Eden Dawn  19:16

to get your get your groove on. Yeah, I


Laura Gibson  19:19

just sort of had to pass through the club to to get out of the hotel. And so as you can see in this video I'm showing you guys the people listening cannot see but there's a lot of old folks and they are having a great time and there's a DJ and sounds like that


Fiona McCann  19:42

Okay, I'm just going to narrate over this. it is a brightly a sort of brightly lit—that's way too bright for a club—brightly lit spot. I can only see mainly


Eden Dawn  19:53

there's a lot of gray hair and mainly my shiny heads,


Laura Gibson  19:57

which I feel like is a dance party I can I can get behind. So I went I would go down to the club. And also Oh, the other thing was you could eat in the restaurant every like they set me up. So all my meals were also included in the restaurant in this hotel. And so, all of the nights, except, like one night, I would walk downstairs to go exploring in the morning and it would just say, Salsa Night, so it seems like most nights of the week was Salsa Night.


Fiona McCann  20:29

Every night is Taco Tuesday.


Eden Dawn  20:31

No, every day is nachos for one and every night Salsa Night.


Fiona McCann  20:36

It's like a Groundhog Day or something you're stuck in Salsa Night forever


Laura Gibson  20:41

and I would lie in bed and I would just hear Salsa Night like doo doo doo doo that beat and like club a rhythm and hear that and then I'd walk around and it felt like I was sort of walking through a cruise ship and and all these people are on vacation and partying a lot of stag parties from the UK and and I was just everybody was on like there to be in this sunny vacation paradise and I was so depressed and so lonely just walking around through it, but I found a lot. I discovered a lot walking around. One was there's a plaque that The Beatles had been there, which made me think of this Beatles story that I was wanting to write. So I thought


Fiona McCann  21:26

I was wondering why the Beatles were gonna come back.


Laura Gibson  21:27

Yeah, really let them go. Sorry.


Fiona McCann  21:30

No but it's good. It's like, I know they're gonna come back and


Laura Gibson  21:33

It  happen if you tour around Europe, like I feel like half the places have a little plaque that are like when the Beatles played here like they've been they've been all over. They got a historic they really got around.


Eden Dawn  21:46

I love a historical plaque. Thank you to everyone ever who puts up a historical plaque, it just really makes the day.


Laura Gibson  21:50

It’s nice to know who was there. Also in the Canary Islands, I went into this garden. And there was a historical plaque there that said that when Agatha Christie fled the UK because she was getting too famous. She went to Tenerife, this island and she went hiding and stayed and stayed there for on Tenerife for a while and she would go to this garden to just chill out and so interesting. Yeah,


Eden Dawn  22:17

Agatha Christie, the whodunnit of where the murder mystery writer escaped to.


Laura Gibson  22:23

Yes. Back to the Beatles. And I was like I should write on this. I should I should go work on this story about looking through the Beatles as they're as they're walking through Miami and hanging out in Miami and sort of thinking about performing and and who they are. And, and so I started working on that story. And I wrote down this line, sweat silhouettes on hotel sheets, which was was something that happened, happened in this warm, warm place. Then I picked up my guitar and started playing this riff that sort of felt like the Salsa Night rhythm that was going on. And it sort of like, played over this like rhythm that had been pressed into me by staying and sleeping above this, this club where it was Salsa Night, every night, every night. And so I just put those that first, this the first line of the song has changed a bit. But it was like something, something through the curtains, sweat silhouettes, and at the time, I'd write on hotel sheets, and I changed the line eventually to I believe you then, I believe you still and and that was sort of the line I had. So I'd walk around Tenerife and sing and like kind of add some words to this line. And it started to feel I started to imagine the song being about these ways we perform to each other. And I was performing in this one sense, but it was also navigating relationships where there's always this sort of performance, there just is performance and how you present yourself and in relationships and and the relationship I was in I was thinking how different had I met this person now? How different my own how different I would tell my own story and and who you would be Yeah, yeah. And, and so I was thinking about those things a lot. Suddenly, everything started to feel because I was in this on tour and in this sort of weird social media hell that we live in where I just felt like I was performing all the time. And we're and suddenly everything just felt like a performance, which it is on some level and but also, you know, we're also earnest most of the time on certain level and,


Fiona McCann  24:43

and it was exacerbated by all of these elements that were going on. Yeah, so


Eden Dawn  24:46

I being on tour that long did does feel especially without people because I mean, I find that every day even in a professional capacity. Like sometimes I say I'm playing the role of Eden Dawn just by going Yeah. Which is very different than Like when you're with your girlfriend's just having a glass of wine or with like Ashod and I are home petting our cats like you don't feel like you have moments where you're not performing. But when you have to be up in front of people, which you were nonstop for weeks, you just kind of get the gears stuck in performance mode.


Laura Gibson  25:17

Yeah, and there's no and, you know, I'm also like performing intimacy in this way. But it's not real intimacy. It's, it's a performance of intimacy that that is why people connect to my songs. And so to do that over and over again, I start to go through the world and, and on one level, I'm wondering, what's performance and what's real anywhere and, and so this is a thing I was thinking about a lot and, and so I'd walk around, and then it did go up to the volcano. And you can take a little aerial tram to the top. I got a little woozy because it's pretty, it's maybe 14,000 feet, mine's pretty, pretty tall.


Eden Dawn  25:56

That's too tall to that’s airplane height, I don't I don't like being that high up.


Fiona McCann  26:01

That would scare the pants off me.


Laura Gibson  26:02

I walked around feeling like a little like, woozy and, and from the elevation and was still working and kept thinking about the song what this song was. And then I played my set at the festival in the last day. And it was, it was really wonderful. And I felt so good being done. And then you know, many flights later, I, I went back home and I still had the song. And then I got to the point where I was in the studio to make my next record. And it's like, well, I have this it's not finished. I just was this thing I was playing when I was in the Canary Islands. And so I recorded the guitar and some gibberish vocals for the lines that I didn't know and we recorded horns and everything on the song and so this whole song existed with just a few lines that I had written. And then just a lot of gibberish what is it?


Eden Dawn  26:59

What does the gibberish say? It's the lorem ipsum of musicians.


Fiona McCann  27:03

What is it like rhubarb rhubarb or what did you say?


Laura Gibson  27:06

Um, no, it sounds like words now it's I don't know if I can do it without Oh, yeah, like like just sort of fake like word sounds, but sometimes the gibberish sounds really good when you go to try to fit words you can never sounds as natural. Like it was better and sometimes the gibberish versions the gibberish lines, you end up writing words because oh, I use that “Kuh” like that k sound and I think, that's neat. I need that. So I so the word the gibberish ends up like dictating what words you're placed there.


Fiona McCann  27:50

So you have to totally blow my mind.


Eden Dawn  27:52

You have to fit kazoo into the song somewhere? Exactly.


Laura Gibson  27:55

I just thought hey, I need that sound.


Eden Dawn  27:59

What else is there besides kazoo?


Laura Gibson  28:02

So I needed to get this record finished by the end of the year. And I that song in particular didn't have and so I went to the exact opposite place at the Canary Islands and went up to Joseph Oregon and stayed in the Jennings hotel for like a week. And just to finish, they're not Salsa Night, no, it was very quiet, I was the only one in the hotel at the time during the during the weekdays. And so I just sit and throw logs on the wood burning stove and just try to pound out these lyrics. And this song was the hardest on this whole record to do. Because I'd had sort of had this image that began at this very sunny but also depressed kind of moment for me and and I was back at this time and was like kind of working through stuff in this what had been a long distance relationship and and so I thought about the song and thought about performing and what it was and I and I started imagining the ways we perform intimacy and I started imagining what if this was like staged as a stage play. And so then I started thinking that okay, then I can set up this sort of stage part of it. And then kind of move from looking at this stage thing happening of this performance happening and then move towards intimacy as though I'm watching. It performed on a stage and and so that unlock the song and I finished writing, writing in it in a snowy, snowy mountain.


Bright arm of light through the curtains

Sweat silhouettes on velvet seats

I believed you then, I believe you still


Eden Dawn  30:06

what a switch? Canary Island to Joseph


Laura Gibson  30:09

Yeah. So I changed the first line that about the curtains of the hotel room and hotel sheets, I changed it to bright arm of light through the curtains, and they would became stage curtains, and then sweat silhouettes on velvet seats, thinking of the theater, which, yeah, changed locations, but it still retained the ideas that I was really wrestling with in the song. I wanted to retain those things. But I needed I needed to sort of set it in a new place. It couldn't exist. I had taken I had taken that salsa rhythm from a Canary Island. But the songs the song couldn't exist in in Tenerife, there needed to exist in a new space. And that space was the sort of like stage play that I was kind of imagining in my head.


Fiona McCann  30:57

Although conceptually so much came from that moment to right? I mean, this idea of performance, and you know, what you were experiencing?


Laura Gibson  31:04

Definitely, yeah, I just, I just sort of changed the setting, but kind of kept a lot of the feelings.


Eden Dawn  31:10

The same. I like it, because it feels like, though I do not write songs, and I don't think I could, but I think all writers take bread crumbs from their life and put it into their work. It's taking that little bit from the Canary Islands is taking a little bit of what you were thinking about and the feelings you were going through while touring and then it's taking a little bit of what you were experiencing in Joseph and all of those things come together. And I think we all do that as writers is you're just constantly picking up little instead of leaving bread crumbs behind Hansel and Gretel style, we're picking bread crumbs up as we go, and forming them into one lovely meatball. Yeah,


Laura Gibson  31:56

I'm I like that review of of my song that I formed it into “one lovely meatball by Eden Dawn.”


Eden Dawn  32:06

And said by a vegetarian, you know, so that's how you know I really meant it.


Laura Gibson

Yeah, you meant the meat. Yeah, I meant it. Or is it the opposite? I don't know if that made maybe it's a vegetarian meat.


Fiona McCann  32:17

I want you to work in nachos for one in there somehow as well.


Eden Dawn  32:21

Well, you could do that, right, you pick up a chip from each place into a lovely, then you move toward your hot molten cheese upon everything.


Laura Gibson

That's exactly what happened. That's and it


Fiona McCann  32:30

became Nachos for One. Nailed it.


Eden Dawn  32:33

which is the name, which is the name of your next album, you're here to announce right now.


Fiona McCann  32:42

It is so funny as well. Because you know, my first encounter as a listener is in one space. And one moment. And then you don't think about all of this huge tapestry of things that have gone into creating that which is amazing to me, like it starts here. And the Beatles are in this and Agatha Christie's in there too. So and performance and social media and really old people dancing to salsa every night like Groundhog Day in Tenerife, and then also Joseph, Oregon, and also a state, man, it's it's complex. Ma'am. I don't know where I was going with that. Other than that, it's so strange to me that all this gets distilled. And then I have this encounter with all of this that's behind it.


Laura Gibson  33:28

Yeah, I do kind of feel like a magpie a little bit and how I write and especially if I've been touring, I've done a lot of sitting at home, writing in the last many months. So the next record might, it'll still be magpie-ish. But I won't be pulling from volcanoes and the Beatles and pulling from Magic Mike 3, I'll be pulling from Magic my you can pull from this if


Fiona McCann  33:50

you want. It's fine by me. From this conversation, yes. From this exact conversation nachos. For one,


Eden Dawn  33:56

I won't make eye contact with her. I think it speaks to the fact though, that people, I have watched people watch you play, which is always such a thing when you get to feel so proud of your friend when you watch them play and you watch other people absorbing the thing they're doing. And I see how much your music resonates with people and they feel it in their heart. And now that I know a little bit about like the process of the song and how multi-layered and complex and all of the emotions that were going on in your entire world that you managed to get into a few stanzas. It makes sense to me why they're so drawn to it.


Fiona McCann  34:31

And people will take your song and bring it to Tenerife. I mean not to Tenerife specifically, but you know, I will like I will take your song somewhere else. I mean, the geography of that song is going to be so expensive.


Laura Gibson  34:45

Yeah, but I do love that. I mean, I love that with other people's music. I have certain songs that I listened to in certain places. I love how music exists in geography and interacts with with geography.


Eden Dawn  34:59

I also love have the idea of listening to new music in a new place?


Laura Gibson  35:04

Yeah, it's a, it's just back. I was down in the Everglades National Park a couple of weeks ago and I had done this residency and actually, the Goners record that Performers is on a lot of those songs began there. I hadn't been back in it had been six years. And just when I was down there two weeks, I had so many of the feelings that I had writing those songs or different lines came to me that I wouldn't have if you would have asked me here where I wrote that line, I would have had no idea but then once I was back in the landscape, I, I remembered exactly where I'd written that line or what was going through my head and, and I think especially this, this record really feels because I was so on the road with it, and it really feels connected to place. And often it's not till I go back to the place that I remember that that's that it is does have connections and a place. So when I go back to the volcano in Tenerife, I will remember some of these lines that I wrote there


Eden Dawn  36:08

Plus when you switch careers, and you write your first murder mystery, you're gonna have a great tale when you're out on your your PR campaign.


Laura Gibson 36:16

It's true. Yeah, this is true.


Fiona McCann  36:18

Well, Laura, I, I am so appreciative of you coming in, I feel like I've learned so much about how to write a song now maybe I can write in gibberish as well. Would that help my articles with my first draft is like, I could do gibberrish, and just put words to it. I think this is going to be this is really going to unlock a lot. But I really appreciate you coming in and sharing that with us. And I always love hanging out with you anyway, because you're such a gem. And I feel like you open up so much to me every time I'm with you and hopefully to all our listeners as well. Just to remind you all Laura's website is Laura Gibson And you can also follow her on Instagram where she fakes all sorts of things.


Laura Gibson 37:03

Total fake, total believer don't it's all matches


Fiona McCann  37:07

for one all day long, but she's at Laura Gibson Girl and you can also go out and get the album Goners and I'm going to read listen to it after here it's beautiful album. And now it means even more to me. And that's it from we can print this for today. So you can see more info about these episodes that we can print And you can follow us on all the socials where we also perform all the time at we can print this


Eden Dawn  37:30

Thank you to our producer Miranda Shaffer and to Dave Depper for our intro music and now that I see you looking at me I realized I owe both you and Dave a brunch for a prize you won at a party two years ago and I will be following up on that shortly. Everyone heard it here. This podcast was recorded at the Writers’ Block in Portland shout out to Monica Geller for her support and the biggest thing to our third work wife Rachel Ritchie for just being great and letting us eat her cauliflower snacks.


Fiona McCann  38:04

She does they're my snacks though.


Eden Dawn  38:06

Oh well. Okay, well I owe someone cauliflower snacks


Fiona McCann  38:09

and brunch apparently the debts are larger this one if you are a writer also with a great behind the story story please let us know write to us at And someday this could be you could be here with us.


Eden Dawn38:22

LG we love you. Love you love your work. Love Your Work LG

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