In 2020 Victoria bushfires soared, a global pandemic raged, and the world’s strictest physical isolation measures forced Melbournians inside. For Melbourne based singer-songwriter Laura Ingram, her Christmas wish is simple; to see state borders re-open so she may return to her hometown of Canberra to spend Christmas with her family.
To celebrate the season, on 4 December Ingram released her 2-track double A-side of Home for Christmas & Christmas Eve.
In the tradition of the great holiday records by artists such as Donny Hathaway, Mel Torme and Nat King Cole, Home For Christmas is romantic and nostalgic. Although the summer-tinged piece depicts the quintessential Australian Christmas celebration, Ingram’s lyrics capture the story of thousands stranded globally, unable to see loved ones throughout the COVID-19 catastrophe. The soulful other A-side, Christmas Eve, pleads for a return to childhood optimism, reminding us to embrace the joy and magic of the season.
Home For Christmas is the follow up to Laura’s much-loved debut single Valentine’s Day. Released in February, her national tour was cancelled due to the COVID lockdown after one sold-out performance in Canberra. From her inner-north apartment in Melbourne, she then created the Iso-Sessions, a live visual album paying homage to her favourite songwriters including Stevie Wonder and Kate Bush.
The newest addition to the Christmas canon, “Home For Christmas” was recorded at Aviary Studios (as soon as lockdown was lifted) with multi-award-winning producer Nick Edin (Matt Joe Gow, Gretta Ray). Written by Laura Ingram, the band features Daniel Brates on drums, Kumar Shome on guitar and James Bowers on Rhodes.
From December 4, purchase of the single includes a digital personalised Christmas card (perfect for sending to love ones). To celebrate the release, both of the music and of herself from Melbourne, Ingram is back in town on Tuesday, 22 December at Smith’s Alternative. At time of writing, the show is sold out, so contact the venue direct to check out. Failing that, there is always her music, and the below profile sourced by BMA’s Ruth O’Brien, to enjoy!
Describe your sound:
Who are your influences, musical or otherwise?
I grew up listening to Bruce Springsteen, Carol King and Joni Mitchell. This record is really inspired by the greats Christmas classics by Nat King Cole, Mel Torme and Donny Hathaway.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had as an artist?
Supporting Clare Bowditch at The Playhouse, and recording at the Aviary Studios with Nick Edin (Greta Ray, Matt Joe Now) and others (see press release)
Which experience is your proudest so far?
There is no one singular experience, but rather I’m proud of my tenacity to keep going in 2020, finding new ways of performing and connecting to audience, learning about myself through songwriting and developing as a human. I’m proud of my commitment and self-reflection, in an industry that continually tests and challenges.
What are your plans for the future?
Having just released a record Home for Christmas I’m more in the space of sharing and performing that, and reflecting on its success and giving myself a pat on the back for releasing a tune at the end of this very challenging year. I’ve got music coming out in 2021, but right now I’m just taking a moment to be proud of the record.
What makes you laugh?
Children who do weird shit and see the world in a unique way.
What pisses you off?
Choosing not to learn from one’s mistakes.
What about the Canberra scene/the music scene in general would you change?
I’m currently working on a mentorship program for emerging artists to help develop a pathway to success in music. When I was coming up there was no one to show me the ropes, so now I’m creating a space where artists can develop on a personal and professional level so they does stay stuck playing the same pubs.
What would you like to plug?
- My record Home for Christmas – https://open.spotify.com/album/1sT9IGDOIMJbDKTsILIT3r?si=FUHytlJMT06zqs9kzdpyBQ
- My personalised Christmas card w digital download. purchase on bandcamp – https://lauraingram.bandcamp.com/
- The Canberra show on the 22nd https://www.smithsalternative.com/events/laura-ingram-70430