In the Post #52: Pete Lawrie

By on Friday, 12th March 2010 at 12:00 pm

Soulful singer-songwriter Pete Lawrie feels that his music is very hard to classify. He says, “If I had to give my current sound a name, I would call it Southern blues country rock skiffle hop tronica, whilst cringing at my own pretension.” But that explanation over-complicates things. When I listen to his EP, ‘How Could I Complain?,’  what I’m struck by is the simplicity and authenticity of his music. There are no gimmicks and there’s nothing over-thought, it’s just a man expressing himself beautifully through his music.

While there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about his music, there doesn’t have to be. His bruised, growling voice drips with the emotion behind the songs, and it’s this that really captivates the listener. In his biog, he explains that “the last few years have been without doubt the most amazing, eye-opening, terrifying, hilarious, devastating, glorious times in [his] life,” and it’s this emotion that resonates through the songs.

The four-track EP takes it’s name from the first track, ‘How Could I Complain?’. In it, Lawrie asks “So tell me how could I complain?” when he hasn’t experienced some horrible things like deaths in the family, and philosophizes, “you wouldn’t know joy if you didn’t have pain.” This mid-tempo track has a very rustic feel to it, which you really get a sense of in the video below. Second track, ‘Panic,’ has a raw, visceral feel to it. With Lawrie’s raspy voice over pounding piano, hand claps, cowbell and distorted guitars, you get the feeling your listening to an exposed nerve. The second half of the EP is a lot slower and more laid-back, but doesn’t lose any of it’s emotional intensity. ‘Paperthin’ uses strings and tinkling piano to great effect, and is very relaxing to listen to, and ‘Jimmy and the Birds on Fire’ is simple and beautiful, really showcasing Lawrie’s voice.

So if you’re tired of voices that have all the emotion auto-tuned out of them, then give Pete Lawrie a shot – his voice will make you feel emotions you never even knew you had.


‘How Could I Complain’ will be released on 5th April 2010. Pete Lawrie is on tour now with Turin Brakes. See our ticket alert for more information.

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