INTERVIEW: Lauran Hibberd on her new EP, Goober
The six-track EP acts as a follow-up to 2019's EP Everything is Dogs and is our last bite-size slice from Lauran before her highly anticipated debut album (more on that in our interview). Aptly-titled Goober gives us exactly what you expect from Lauran Hibberd: a quirky concoction of bubblegum pop sensibilities and 90's grunge rock guitar licks, with a sprinkling of slick satire.
Latest single and opening track Bleugh is a punk-infused bop of fuzzy guitars and spiky percussion, laced with a big 'fuck you' attitude, and we love to see it. Plus, shouting 'bleugh' is pretty cathartic. Give it a go.
Sarcasm-soaked Old Nudes and Boy Bye offer glistening slacker-rock guitars and Lauran's signature ironic lyricism. How Am I Still Alive? (with Lydia Night) reunites Lauran with The Regrettes frontwoman to deliver a huge pop-punk hit, complete with Michael Cera references - because of course there are, it's Lauran Hibberd.
Straight from some coming-of-age movie soundtrack, Crush is a massive pop-rock banger, all teenage yearning and 90's rock influences. Final track, heart-wrenching You Never Looked So Cool, is the wildcard of the EP, tossing aside the mighty guitar riffs and catchy indie-pop hooks to reveal Lauran's earnest side and showcase her versatility.
Already proving herself to be an unstoppable force determined to climb the ranks of the indie elite, Goober cements Lauran Hibberd as a trailblazer of slacker-pop. Because we were just buzzing with questions, we sat down with Lauran herself to talk all things Goober, cabbages, and Phoebe Bridgers:
Hi Lauran, thanks for talking with us, and congrats on the release of Goober! This new EP has been pushed back a bit from when we originally expected to get it - how do you feel now that it's finally out?
I feel great! It was my last baby step before the album so I feel super excited. It’s one of those things when it comes to releasing music, because it’s all done so ahead of release e.g. recorded/written - by the time it comes out I’m normally somewhere else mentally (in a musical sense). But releasing it gives you a second wind of love for the songs, so I kinda feel like I’m on a second wave of really rating this EP.
We've got to ask about the Goober cover art - what's the backstory behind the cabbages?
I wish there was a deep intellectual meaning to this. I just really wanted a cover that people would look at in a record store and remember or at least be like ‘What the hell is this?’. I felt that cabbages were super underrated in the artwork world and have tried to turn this around with my own range of cabbage pillows which are on sale now haha. Also I guess it works with the nature of the EP title, and doesn’t take itself seriously.
You're known for your witty lyrics, and the new tracks are full of them. Is there any line in particular that you're most proud of?
Yes! Basically the whole of You Never Looked So Cool!! In particular, ‘they said that I would see white but it’s red and it’s burning, clawing at every inch of my bed.’ This line is the first thing I had written for this song, and for me it encapsulates those dreams you have that shake you up. The kind you have to ask someone the next morning to check if it actually happened. I also love ‘I woke up slowly to you grabbing at my shoulders saying I shouldn’t dream so much now that I am older’. It’s almost like waking up from a nightmare and into another - with someone that almost overlooks your imagination.
You Never Looked So Cool is like if Shark Week had a baby with Phoebe Bridgers. When you're known for your pop-rock bangers, does it feel strange writing a slower or sadder song?
WOW thank you!! Long live Phoebe Bridgers. It definitely does feel strange, because I think I try and talk myself out of writing sadder songs because it’s not what I’m known for. But I think it’s really important to show different sides, and dig into other influences. It’s actually my favourite song on the EP. I do get nervous to release songs of a slower pace though, just because it probably is slightly out of my comfort zone. But I think that’s a good thing. Especially when releasing a body of work, or even playing live - there has to be different shades I think, a moment in the set when everyone just stands still for a sec.
Alongside you, bands like Coach Party and Wet Leg have also proved that there's life in the Isle of Wight music scene, especially for women in rock. Do you have any advice for young aspiring musicians looking to start their careers in music but might feel put off by their local music scene or the fact that the indie/rock community is so male-dominated?
YES! All my advice would be to anyone wanting to get into music is to ignore the ‘scene’, you can make your own later. Back yourself, and don’t let anyone put you off doing what you want to do. Write a million songs, go to a stack of gigs, and surround yourself with people of a similar mindset.
When we saw you at The 1865, Southampton last December, you mentioned that you'd been writing your debut album. How's that coming along, over half a year later?
It’s coming along pretty damn well, I’m super excited. I have a pressing urge to leak all the demos now just because of how excited I am. I’ve dreamt about my debut record for years so to feel it finally becoming a real life thing is beyond cool for me. There will definitely be a couple of curveball tracks. I’m really looking forward to recording it out in LA later this year.
You're going on tour in the autumn, as well as playing some festivals over the summer! What have you missed the most about playing full capacity live shows?
The atmosphere! Just people chatting rubbish, jumping up and down, singing along throwing each other about - that’s what live music is. So there’s been a real hole in that for a while, I’m beyond looking forward to getting back into everything. It’s so important to every musician, I’m sure it’s about to go fully OFF!!!!!
1000000% Van Weezer. Don’t even try to tell me that End of the Game isn’t blinding. I really appreciate OK Human though, especially lyrically. Still waiting on Rivers to propose to me.
Thanks so much for chatting with us Lauran, we'll catch you on tour later in the year!
Buy Goober on green vinyl, as well as that all important cabbage-themed merch here
Catch Lauran Hibberd on tour at the follow dates:
7th Aug - Bath Festival Finale
13th Aug - 110 Above Festival
28th Aug - Victorious Festival
5th Sept - Neighbourhood Festival
9th Oct - Twisterella Festival
8th Oct - The Garage (Attic Bar), Glasgow
7th Oct - Key Club, Leeds
6th Oct - Deaf Institute, Manchester
10th Oct - Exchange, Bristol
12th Oct - Joiners, Southampton
13th Oct - Omeara, London
Review and interview by Chloe Robbins
Photography by Rebecca Need-Menear