Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lauren Squared

Contrary to the title, there’s nothing square about the two Laurens who recently visited Fern Forest for two nights in the Treehouse. The singer-songwriter (we’ll call her US Lauren) and her English gal pal drove up from Brooklyn for a respite from the holiday bustle of the city. Their rental car nearly made it up the snowy driveway, but US Lauren thought it better to park at the bottom of the hill and tromp up in her Chuck Taylors. US Lauren always wears Chuck Taylors and has them in a variety of colors, and I enjoyed seeing a pair parked in the mudroom while she was here.

US Lauren is an indy girl, and you can categorize that as an independent woman or a musician who plays indy music. By indy I mean she’s willing to play a small venue with ten people, including the bartender and the sound man (but of course she’d rather play for a bigger crowd). She’s also from Indianapolis, which makes her capital “I” Indy.

Although she was born in London, English Lauren’s parents are American, which gives her dual citizenship. “My mom’s from Vienna, Virginia,” she said. I’m from Falls Church, just a few miles from Vienna, and it turns out her mom and I went to the same high school. How weird is that? Her mom was a year behind me but we missed each other because I spent only my freshman year at James Madison High and then transferred to a new school in Falls Church. But I think I’d have liked Lauren’s mom, if her daughter is anything like her—bright and bubbly.

While we were nibbling carrot sticks Sunday night, and then tortilla chips, and then popcorn (these gals are young enough to feast on whatever they fancy), Brit Lauren called her mom in London. I’d suggested that US Lauren is a vegetarian because she has Type A blood and Brit Lauren wanted to ask her mom what blood type she had. Her mom didn’t have a clue but got a kick out of the fact that her daughter was three thousand miles away staying with a woman who’d wandered the hallways of the same high school she herself had attended. I have to admire a mother-daughter relationship that allows a quick call across the ocean from a weekend retreat in a Vermont wilderness.

Brit Lauren was about to take off to spend the holidays with her family in London, and we hope the Heathrow runways were cleared of snow to allow her a safe landing. US Lauren planned to journey home to Indiana, and I imagine she packed her acoustic guitar to practice for her gig at Rockwood Music Hall in New York at the end of January. We were glad to give them a couple days of peace and tranquility before the flurry of their lives catches up with them again.

US Lauren took a great leap when she quit her job to pursue a career in music. As she writes on her website, “I believe that everything falls into place if you are following your heart.” That’s good advice as we advance into 2011, and I have a feeling things are falling into place nicely for both these exceptional young women. You can catch more of Lauren Z’s songs, sung with sweet fragility, on YouTube or her website,

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