Nashville’s newest female voice, Laura McCormick, brings a fierce set of pipes with her debut album Box Full of Trouble. McCormick mixes strong vocals with gut wrenching songwriting, blending her folk and country roots with a classic rock upbringing. Box Full of Trouble introduces a fresh face to join country’s female voices. Laura graciously took the time to talk about her roots, Box Full of Trouble, and what's ahead.
Over the past six years, you worked as an ICU nurse. You then decided to do something very brave and truly follow your dreams. Was there any specific event that spurred you to leave nursing and pursue music?
Well, it was one of those things where I had the feeling that I would just eventually end up doing it, or at least trying to do it. I wandered off of the music path for awhile, then met some people and we started co-writing. Eventually, we decided to go into the studio, which turned into ‘hey, maybe this could work, let’s try to work on an album,’ which we did and for which we received a lot of positive feedback. From there, I just decided to move forward, give it everything I have and here I am.
Was music a part of your life from a young age?
In the house, we listened to nothing but oldies, like Elvis, until I was twelve years old. Then I began listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles, which is where a lot of my influences come from. Later on, I got into Reba and Bonnie Raitt.
I wrote songs my whole life, but I really got interested in performing music when I was in middle school where I participated in a lot of choir and singing competitions.
How did you decide to focus on the country genre?
I actually thought that I was going to be a rock singer, but I love the stories and the different instrumentation you find in country music. I also had a book of songs that I had written from a young age and when I saw what came out of me in my writing, it was definitely more country than rock.
Do you write all of your own songs?
I co-wrote everything on the album with one other writer. I like co-writing because it brings a whole different perspective to a song and can give a song new life.
I write as therapy for myself. The songs are about me, someone I am close to, or my perspective on a topic, so writing with another person helps me to keep the songs broad enough so others can relate to them as well.
On Box Full of Trouble, McCormick mixes folk, country and rock. She sings songs of heartache and pain while highlighting her recognizable vocal tone. Tracks like “One” and “I’m Gonna Break Your Heart” showcase soft soulful vocals, while still keeping her signature spunk and sassy lyric style. Her classic rock roots are evident in “Feel the Fire” and “Tuff Chick,” with country elements prominent throughout.
Your most recent album, Box Full of Trouble, was released this past October. What does the title of the album refer to?
Actually that is a line out of one of songs, “I’m Gonna Break Your Heart.” My mom was listening to the record and thought it would be a cute title. The more I started thinking about it, I realized that the line encompasses all of the songs on the album as well as all of the different emotions involved with being a female. It’s a box of trouble literally and figuratively.
Being that the year has just started, what are your professional plans for 2015?
I actually kind of reset everything and am now starting to rebuild and move forward with my music. I would like to release a new album within the first six months of this year. I have a lot of songs ready to go and am excited to get the music out there and have people hear it.
I also have a new band, so my main focus this year is getting out and playing live. I really love meeting the fans one on one, getting to talk with them and learning what a song means to them.
Will your sound remain the same on the new record?
I think so. When I began working with the people I am working with now, the one thing that I was very sure of was that I wanted people who were on the same page. I know that I have one shot at this, so if I don’t succeed I’d rather it be because of me--doing things my way and not following trends. I am definitely open to opinion and growth, but it’s my music and my story. I want to be happy with my music and not feel like I am settling or changing.
Finally, I always love to know, is there one recent album that you cannot stop listening to?
I love all genres of music and what I listen to really depends on the mood I am in, but I am a huge fan of the Cadillac Three and Grace Potter. I am always listening to a lot of older stuff too, like Fleetwood Mac, their music is always on!
Purchase Box Full of Trouble here
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Watch the video for "Feel the Fire" below