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Retro Synthwave For The Spectacular Now: An Interview with LAU

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LAU is somewhat of an underground synthwave/retrowave legend online, garnering quite a bit of attention over the past couple years, and even growing in acclaim through the pandemic.

With her debut album set for release early next year via Aztec Records, new single “Undecided” is a great indicator that we’re in for more of what we’ve come to expect from LAU: Atmosphere and hooks that abound in equal measure.

“Undecided” is a dreamy and uplifting, yet dynamic number showcasing ‘virtual love’ in the age of COVID. What LAU does best is bring us back to the past, to the retro sounds of our childhoods, while adding that much yearned after modern feel that keeps her work fresher and progressive. “Undecided” is a bold statement and doesn’t disappoint.

Check out what LAU had to say about “Undecided” in her own words in the exclusive interview below:

Stereo Embers Magazine: “Undecided” is the first single for your upcoming second album. How do you feel it fits with the whole batch of songs? 

LAU: It’s a very important song to me, as it means the beginning of a new stage in my life. I’ve found love again during the pandemic, and even though it hasn’t been easy dealing with a long-distance relationship, it’s an experience that has inspired this entire second album. I talk a lot about all the doubts and uncertainty that this situation has created, the hurdles and the struggle of this ‘virtual romancing,’ but also the joy and excitement to fall in love with someone new, and finally meeting them face-to-face for the first time.

SEM: What is your biggest takeaway about love during the pandemic? 

LAU: That loving someone far away is not easy at all, but it’s worth the wait if you’re in love. There are a lot of obstacles during pandemic, lots of logistics, and everything seems harder. Flights get cancelled, plans get moved, everything is day-by-day and that can be frustrating sometimes. But if you follow your heart and have a little patience, it’s definitely worth it in the end.

SEM: Retrowave is kind of like the future feeding back onto the past. With all the technologies and modern societal pressures we have so far in the 2020s, do you feel like we are living in ‘the future?’

LAU: On one hand, I think it’s quite futuristic to be doing video calls every day with people across the world, it’s an amazing tool that we didn’t have a while back. But on the other, we’ve gone back to classic formats like cassette or vinyl to listen to music. We are choosing classic over new. The whole ceremony of sitting down and enjoying an album, beginning to end, reading the artwork credits, without rushing like we’re used to. I think we need to balance the new with the old, without losing ourselves completely in the new technology.

SEM: What was working with producer Brian Skeel like for “Undecided?”

LAU: Brian is amazing, we clicked straight away. We still haven’t met in person, as he’s in Ohio and I’m in Barcelona, but we wrote a couple of songs together for my debut album Believer, and for my second album I wanted to continue that creative connection. He’s a major collaborator and producer on my new album. I’m very glad to have him on board, he’s a great producer and multi-instrumentalist, and he’s super-patient, putting up with my perfectionism.

SEM: Aztec Records has a very active YouTube channel and has been around for over a decade. What is your favourite part of being the label’s Creative Director?

LAU: Apart from my own artistic side, I love discovering new talent and nurturing it, working with artists to bring their albums onto life. It’s very rewarding, challenging and inspiring at the same time. I’ve worked with some amazing artists over the years and I never get tired of listening to new music.

SEM: Anything else you’d like to add? How should we keep up with you leading up to the record?

 LAU: My next single, “Give Her Your Love,” will be out on November 12th, so look out for that. And the new album will be out in February 2022. You can follow me on Instagram (@laufares) to see my latest news and releases. I’m also rehearsing with my band to start playing shows next year around Europe, so I’m super-excited about that.

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