Garageband Superstar

Garageband Superstar

If there’s anything Lauran Hibberd likes to do, it’s to confound people. Born and raised on the Isle of Wight but with an unshakable affection for ’90s power-punk, her music gives off a noticeable duality, sharing stories both angsty and insecure. “There’s been a lot of labels flying around: indie rock, pop punk, power pop, slacker-pop,” she tells Apple Music. “But I have kind of grown to love the fact that nobody can really settle on what it is. Especially in the lockdown, having that much time and listening to so much music, I was like, ‘Why limit yourself? I’m just going to squeeze my brain and see what comes out.’” What has come out feels something like resilience. Building on her previous EPs, 2019’s Everything Is Dogs and 2021’s Goober, her debut album, Garageband Superstar, introduces an array of vivid characters, from an endearingly clueless gamer guy to various iterations of Hibberd herself, working through anxiety, heartbreak, and issues of body image with Day-Glo charisma and teen-movie humor. If a debut album can mark a cinematic coming of age, Hibberd makes for a deeply relatable hero, finding scrappy new ways to strike gold in the everyday. “I’m not out here changing the world,” she says. “I’m not writing ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay. Most of us are just at work, looking out our windows, watching a movie when we get home. I’m just saying what I see and what’s in my weird head, and it feels good to let it out.” Let Hibberd talk you through the inspiration behind each track. “Rollercoaster” “For me, the perfect place to open any album is to talk about falling off a roller coaster and ringing your mum off a Motorola. I very much write how I speak—very easily distracted and taken off with different things, like a dog who’s caught a scent. So, it feels like a good place to start for that reason alone, but it’s really about the pressure on women to look and act a certain way, how tiring that can be, but still trying to laugh in the face of it all. It has that opening-credits feel, like it could soundtrack a montage of me trying on different outfits in the mirror for my first day at high school, even though I’m way past that.” “Still Running (5K)” “Getting DJ Lethal [Limp Bizkit, House of Pain] to scratch on this track is probably the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. I slid into his DMs not expecting anything back. When he replied the next day, I literally threw my phone across the room because I was so excited. When you’re recording an album, you get so in your own head, so for one of my heroes to say that he loved the track and wanted to be on it, it was like nothing else mattered from that point. It’s probably the proudest I’ve ever been.” “Step Mum” “Maybe a week before I was due to record the album, I felt like I was missing a fast-paced, really punky, throw-everything-out-the-window kind of song. My favorite movie growing up was A Cinderella Story, so I had this idea of writing this angsty song about stepmums, how they’re villainized in movies as these really awful people. Growing up with my own stepmum and seeing my mum be one, I’ve realized it’s actually not like that at all, but it was a fun idea to write about.” “Average Joe” “‘Average Joe’ is based on a group of people, and not even people that I know personally—just an overall genre of male, taking all their worst and best habits and putting them into this one person. Even though it feels like I’m mocking him, laughing at the fact that he thinks a leg day at the gym is unmissable or that he loves taking pictures of his car, there’s a real sympathy in it, and an envy too. I feel like my mind is so complicated all the time—maybe if I was content with everyday, simple things like Average Joe, I would be happier.” “Hot Boys” (feat. Viji) “This started out as a joke. I never intended it to make the album. I’ve always been so worried about being credible, and then I remembered that my favorite band is Weezer, and I grew up loving Katy Perry. If I want to lean into the pop curve, I should let myself. The female character is calling the shots and moving from guy to guy—it was quite refreshing to celebrate that. It feels like a summer track where you’ve just been dumped, your friends have dragged you on a plane to Ibiza, and you say you don’t want to go but, low-key, you really do. It’s ‘I’m too cool to go on holiday to get over a man, but also, while I’m here, I may as well have a look…’” “That Was a Joke” “More roller coasters. When I was demoing this one, I was imagining myself at a circus theme park with a Coke bigger than my head—more sugar than I should ever consume. That’s kind of where I feel I fit musically. But I do love a happy-sad contrast. This is about being in denial over being left, being like, ‘I’m so fine, I’m so happy’ when, deep down, you’re being sick in your mouth. It’s inevitable that most people will feel like that at some point in our lives, but I do think it’s how you look back and laugh at yourself afterwards that counts.” “Get Some” “Halfway through the album, I stopped listening to all the things that I grew up on, the Weezer- and Courtney Barnett-style songs, and started listening to a lot of hip-hop. I was listening to a lot of A Tribe Called Quest and got really obsessed with the first Kanye album. I think it’s evident in songs like ‘Get Some’ that there were other influences creeping in because I just started talking really fast, almost like a rapper would. I ended up writing a really wordy album.” “Garageband Superstar” (feat. Wheatus) “When I first started out, I’d sit and play on GarageBand for hours, not really knowing what I was doing but being like, ‘Wow, Mum, check this out!’ It’s about that weird delusional feeling you have when you’re a kid and you’ve learnt something new for the first time and you’re showing everyone and they don’t really care, but you feel amazing. I had the name ‘Garageband Superstar’ in my head for ages. I loved the way it sounded, like a tour from the ‘Teenage Dirtbag,’ ‘Stacy’s Mom’ era—all these loser kids getting their redemption. I’ve always loved songs like that.” “Hole in the Head” “I nearly had a breakdown recording this. It’s the furthest I’ve had to push my voice, but when I finally got it, it felt great to be able to scream and shout like that. It’s about being in a relationship with someone who’s in a relationship with their Xbox. I was trying to go on tour and make myself a successful musician, and he was at home playing Zelda on Nintendo Switch. And I was jealous! He was so relaxed and content. After realizing how stupid the whole thing was, I bought a PS4 and tried it for myself, but I just can’t concentrate long enough to get past hard levels. That said, I do love Animal Crossing. I think my house on there might be better than my real-life one.” “I’m Insecure” “Comparing yourself to people, being on Instagram and seeing other people that you feel are doing better than you—I think I’ll always have those moments where I go in on myself and worry how I’m doing. But writing about it normalizes it to everyone, and I feel so lucky to be a musician now because we truly talk about that stuff. If people can listen in and feel even a little bit better, that’s great.” “Slimming Down” “I always wanted a bit of a spotlight moment towards the end of the record where I go back to basics a little bit. The song is just about falling in love for the first time, being so attached to someone that you’re almost eaten up by them, and then, when they’re gone, you feel like they’ve taken a good chunk of you. But then, there’s always that dark, rubbish humor in there as well, like, ‘I’m heartbroken, but at least I’ve lost a bit of weight because of it.’ It was all recorded live in one take, so it was nice to just capture the moment.” “Last Song Ever” “I feel like I spend the whole album talking about all these deep things but ultimately brushing them off with bizarre jokes. ‘Last Song Ever’ is where I cut all the shit and admit I’m about to lose it. It’s just about feeling sick of the way you feel. Sometimes you’ve just got to tell the people who don’t add anything to your life to fuck off, have the rant on Facebook, have those moments where you just scream into your pillow, and throw a party just for yourself.”

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