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Singled Out: Roses & Cigarettes' Laurel Canyon

05/02/2016
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Jenny Pagliaro (vocals) and Angela Petrilli (guitars, vocals) from Los Angeles roots rockers Roses & Cigarettes tell us about the song "Laurel Canyon" from their self-titled debut album. Here is the story:

Jenny Pagliaro: I wrote Laurel Canyon with our producer, Michael Lyons. It wasn't long before I met Angela and we formed 'Roses & Cigarettes,' and I was feeling a bit lost about my music career. I was with Michael one night and we were discussing when I first moved to LA, and how I had lived off of Laurel Canyon Blvd. I was sitting on his piano bench, and I reached back to the piano and played something (please note I cannot play piano, this was a stroke of luck that whatever I played sounded good!) and sang "Moved to Laurel Canyon, to chase a dream." Then Michael told me to move out of the way and he riffed on the piano while I recorded it on my phone.

The song was really about my frustrations with LA, and not knowing which direction to take. I feel like I wrote myself out of the problem I was having. I'm originally from the east coast, and I moved out to California because I knew I wanted to chase a career in music. I quickly realized that no matter how great you are at home, there is so much competition in LA and there are so many people that are so talented. This song was about my internal struggle of wanting to be here to pursue my music career, but not knowing which way to step and wondering if moving back to the comforts of home was my best option.

Angela: When we were in the studio recording Laurel Canyon, first and foremost I wanted the story Jenny was telling to be the main focus of our song. It's such a relatable story for so many people. I wanted my guitar parts be a delicate and complimentary sonic movement that meshed flawlessly with Jenny's story about the hardships of being away from home in a city that isn't always kind to those trying to "make it." I knew I wanted strong, breathy guitars that laid down a solid foundation; but after a few listens, the acoustic guitars alone weren't telling the story I needed them to tell. The moment that turned things was when I decided to incorporate an electric guitar in 'Open C' tuning. The open major tonalities and open versions of the chords gave the track a sense of hopefulness and optimism that the song needed. The mix of open and breathy guitars gave "Laurel Canyon" the classic California Sound I was looking for.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about the album right here!

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