Settling someplace between pop and ambient soul, Lainey Dionne's trendsetting productions are ostensibly sutured together with thundering drums and the ceaseless vibe of her warm vocals as we embrace the addictive hook she lays before us.
Lainey's takes hold of you immediately, as the spark to its flame as the song natural lands healthily in our chests. The well-rounded production envelopes over the catchy topline, "Hey London, my eyes are all red, I'm out of my mind and over my head." and the supporting video plays like an animated lyrical voyage as we're transported across London, England like a tourist, pre-Corona days. Each line that lands come with its mirroring transition in the video, as the downbeat lands seamlessly with every edit. The textures on "Hey London" are comparable to her early work: beautiful instrumentation, layers of pads, and a rhythm that holds steadfast. But somewhere along the road, there was a welcomed expansion into a more refined and well-rounded silhouette.
"Hey London," hits with spotless accuracy and feels hyper refined—with fluid transitions from the bridge to the final chorus, that make the accompanying video a pleasure to experience—but what elevates "Hey London" above and beyond the atmospheric borders of today's contemporary pop music is Lainey Dionne's endearing vocals that glide atop this hit like a powerful current.
Do you spend lots of time in and around London, and is there a more profound story behind the conception of this single for you?
So I’m from a small town in the smallest state of Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders think traveling 15 minutes is far, but I caught the travel bug after college. I have an unfortunate or fortunate history of dating foreign men. Canadian, Dutch, Brazillian, British, you name it. Now I haven’t visited all the countries where my exes have lived, but for the British relationship, I did. I've been to London twice. The first time I was accepted into a program for my songwriting and had to travel to London where I happened to meet a guy. And then again when I went to visit said British guy for a month and we began seeing each other. This song isn’t completely about one guy, but multiple relationships I’ve had that weren’t in my interest and I was getting sick of staying in something like that. I’ve physically been to every tourist spots mentioned in the lyrics but each place symbolizes an emotional landmark in my relationship where I realized I deserved better than how I was being treated and I am “so over it, hey!”.
With regards to your creative process, what do you find to be the most challenging reoccurring roadblock that can sometimes manifest itself in your writing sessions, if any?
Cliches. I hate them. Sometimes when I just free flow, the occasional cliche will pop in there and it makes me want to puke. Once I get in the ‘puke phase’ sometimes it’s hard to get out of it. Everyone wants to create something original, personal, and something that’s never been done before. That can be hard to do. I don’t really run into “writer's block” as in not being inspired to write, or not knowing what to write about- but I will definitely get stuck in a cliche puke and not want to finish a verse if I can’t pull it together.
Was the control you display in your voice something you had to work on developing from an early age, or did that part come naturally?
I feel very lucky that I’ve always had a good pitch and a natural understanding of music. When I was 6 years old I would harmonize with Charlotte Church in the bath. I didn’t know what the word “harmony” meant, but I could do it. Harmonizing is one of my favorite things to do. I’d also try to mimic vocal tones I would hear in the music that was played around me from a very young age. When I was 5 years old I would creep my sister out by mimicking Portishead or when I got older I would mimic the punchy vocals of Paramore or the deep operatic tones of Evanescence. My voice is naturally very breathy so it’s fun to make vocal tones that aren’t natural to me. As a teen, I taught myself to sing and play and then decided I wanted to do that for the rest of my life. I went to Berklee College of Music where I received intense music training but still felt boxed in vocally- like I was never going to be able to belt or hit long high notes. I was writing/singing folk-pop at the time and thought that was my bubble. As I grew into myself, I realized I wanted to incorporate other vibes into my music and pop the bubble. It wasn’t until I started working with my vocal coach Hannah Schaefer that I fully realized that my voice is a growing being of its own and can’t be put in a box. Since then, I have still had my natural folky breathy tone, but I am hitting notes I didn’t know was possible with emotion that makes me feel alive. I’m really lucky to have had the musical journey I’ve had.
With Coronavirus looming over everyone's heads worldwide, what has been your primary source of inspiration during these last several months of isolation?
Dang, well, Coronavirus has been insane for everyone. Personally, I’ve lost more gigs than I can count but I am very lucky to have my health and my family during this time. I’m a very adventurous person but I am also immunocompromised so I have really been isolating myself for the last several months but I’m itching to get out again once it’s safe. For now, I try to do whatever gives me excitement. I’ve taken a couple of new virtual classes in vocal training and audio production and I’ve been live streaming on Facebook and the new app Sessions, weekly. But I’ve also kept myself sane with other things like playing my Xbox, potting and repotting my succulents and chilling with my two dogs. Just staying sane with normal activities really helps me. If I focus too much on music and use all my spare time on it, it gets tedious. Like anything in life- my passion for music needs some time to breathe as well. I stay inspired by taking a break every other day from music to learn something new that will eventually come back into my lyrics one way or another.
What can fans anticipate next from you, Lainey?
I have two new singles ready to be released and they could not be more different. “Hey London” is this cheeky summer bop about self-worth. The next two are a different vibe. Cryptic Single #2 is a dark punchy banger about blind love that will definitely make you want to blast it in your car. Mysterious Single #3 is an explosive ballad with all the shadowy feels of what it’s like to be in a habitually depressing relationship. I literally cannot wait for these guys to be out there. Single #3 may be the work I am most proud of so far. After all 3 singles are released, which will be soon, a full-length album will follow suit. Subscribe to my mailing list on www.laineydionne.com to get sneak peeks and follow me on Spotify to be the first to hear my new music.