Singled Out: Laura Brino's Butterfly

Keavin Wiggins | 03-08-2024

Singled Out: Laura Brino's Butterfly

Indie folk star Laura Brino just released her new single and video "Butterfly," and to celebrate we asked her to tell us about the song, which is the latest single from her forthcoming album "Cactus Moon" (due April 5th). Here is the story:

When asked about my writing process, it has always been difficult for me to pinpoint exactly how certain songs come about. I have spent my life absorbing the stories and experiences of people around me, and Butterfly is no exception to this. As I entered my 40s last year, I realized that so many of the experiences that I was having along with loved ones around me felt different than when I was younger. There was a level of heaviness. Years and years of build up from living through joy, sadness, grief and exhaustion. People staying in narcissistic relationships and losing themselves. Spending years pretending to be someone else and realizing that they would give anything-even one day-to live authentically and freely. With that being said, when I'm writing music, I tend to enter a meditative state and channel my own experiences and all of the stories and experiences of people around me. It gets processed and comes out through song. If you were to ask me about the writing process with Butterfly, it would be this: I blacked out and wrote this song in a half hour on a Spring afternoon.

From the moment that Butterfly was written, I knew there was something to it. I had people singing along to the very first line. My kids would request it over and over again... asking me to play the 'Dambride" song (referring to the lyrics "damn right"). I was playing the song out at shows with an acoustic guitar and my husband (artist Dracula Jackson) would sit in with the electric guitar and play these amazing Coldplay-esque riffs during the chorus. Those live performances helped inform the studio version of the song.

Balancing motherhood with being a musician is incredibly taxing. Anytime I would attempt to pick up my guitar, one or both of my young kids would interrupt me with all sorts of requests-food needs, questions about the universe, injuries, the list goes on. In order to get any of my thoughts down about this recording, I had to wait until my girls were in bed asleep, and I would take out my iphone and headphones and start recording a demo in garageband. I laid in some beats, guitar, synth, bass and vocals. I distorted my vocals to sound like the electric guitar that I wanted. This demo recording has faint sounds of my kids talking, snoring and their sleep sound machine. Once I had the bones of the song, I headed into the studio with producer and instrumentalist Ahren Buchheister (who produced my last record No More Surprises). Ahren did an incredible job bringing the song to life. He laid in mandolin, synths and electric guitar on top of my synths, acoustic guitar and vocals. Drummer Ricky Wise (who also played on my last record No More Surprises) brought in layers of acoustic drums and percussive sounds. One of my favorite aspects of this particular song is the fact that it features two of my family members on the track. My husband Sean Jackson plays bass and electric guitar, and I had my stepdaughter Emma Jackson (artist Frank Grinds) sing background vocals. Her distinct tone adds an entirely different depth to the song.

When it came time to create a music video for the song, I really wanted to highlight the idea of a woman changing herself over and over again in order to fit into the needs of her environment-whether that be a relationship or society. The video features me making myself over repeatedly until finally, the end shot reveals all of the alternative versions fading away to reveal a makeupless and authentic version of myself. My sister filmed me with her iphone and I edited the video myself on a Sunday afternoon, while my children were distracted long enough for me to create a music video. During the video shoot, she and I sat facing each other on two tiny plastic red kid chairs in my studio, only 3 feet apart. I had a long auburn wig on. I had colored my eyebrows to match the wig. She was holding the phone up within a foot of my face to film. As I sang along to my lyrics and she complained about her arms getting sore holding the phone up, I began laughing uncontrollably at the image of these two 40 somethings hiding in the studio shed, dressed up in wigs and filming a music video. Is this rock and roll? What would my 20 year old self think of this nonsense. And the reality is this: I am a 41 year old musician mama who has found herself on the other side of nearly dying during childbirth, raising two young kids in a pandemic, writing and recording music from the bed of her children, balancing marriage, family, work and creativity-and doing it all through the lens of finding joy and letting go of judgement and care from the world. And if that isn't rocking and rolling it, I'm not sure what is.

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

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Singled Out: Laura Brino's Butterfly

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