Brunswick, Maine-based singer/songwriter Aly Spaltro, better known as Lady Lamb, gave an electrifying yet heartwarming performance at the Royale in Boston on Nov. 4, opening for The New Pornographers. The Daily got a chance to interview Lady Lamb to discuss her recent album and her tour experience.
The Tufts Daily (TD): First things first, how has the tour been so far?
Lady Lamb (LL): It’s been amazing! I have a brand new band, and I’m really stoked about that. The drummer’s been with me before, but I have two women in my band who I’ve never played with before, and we’re singing harmonies together, and it’s going great!
TD: What’s your favorite part about performing live for an audience? Do you have any fun concert stories you can tell?
LL: I really just love the energy from the crowd, it feels like this symbiotic sort of connection that we’re having together, and we’re kinda throwing it back at each other, and it just fills me up, I love it. For a story, I actually crowd surfed for the first time this year, and that was thrilling. I felt like I was really stoned, like my body … just started tingling and I felt like I went to this other place. It was an experience like nothing I’ve ever had, and it’s really weird to feel all these hands on you, and it was so exciting.
TD: Discussing your recent material, especially your latest album, what are the emotions that you try to conjure up, or what are the feelings you want your listeners to experience when they’re listening to “Even in the Tremor” (2019)?
LL: With “Even in the Tremor,” I really tried to be self-aware while I was writing the record, like if I was feeling any sort of discomfort and anxiety throughout the day, instead of only writing a song about it, I was kinda finding it as a way to help myself out. So I’m hoping that it inspires people if they’re feeling anxiety for example, to really try to re-center and realize that self care is really important. I know that’s kinda silly, but it’s still important, and that was kinda the vibe of the record.
TD: During your songwriting process, you traveled quite a bit. What were some of the highlights of your trips?
LL: Yeah, I was really fortunate to have all this time to write the album. So I traveled extensively through the US and Canada, but I also went to Mexico a couple times and fell in love with it. I also went to Nicaragua — and I sing about this in a new song that’s coming out earlier in the winter — but I went up this volcano at night, and stood over it, and looked into it and saw the lava, and it was insane. There were no railings or anything, and it was totally dangerous, and that really was a life-changing moment. It was just really cool. I got a lot of inspiration just from traveling a lot and just observing people and walking around all day … In the song “Even in the Tremor,” in the first verse it touches upon going to Madrid, Montreal the Fallingwater house.
TD: What are some of the songs off “Even in the Tremor” that you have the strongest emotional connection to or the most memorable songwriting experience with from your travels?
LL: “Deep Love” is one that really stands out to me, because I was convinced that the record was finished when I had written it, and it was a complete surprise song and I wrote it so quickly, like in about 10 minutes, and it just seemed to pour out of me. It’s filled with so much realness, it’s just so palpably authentic to me, so that one’s important to me. “Little Flaws” too, because I have so many strong memories of writing that one from living in Montreal over the summer. It was the first song I ever wrote on synth first, instead of guitar like I usually do. It was a different approach for me, and I’m proud of what came out of that.
TD: Speaking of “Little Flaws,” your lyrics about how you “missed six pitches in the batting cage” was one of the first moments that hooked me right onto the album. Do you want to get into that story a little more?
LL: Yeah, that’s completely autobiographical, I wrote it as a response to falling in love with my girlfriend, who I’m still with. When I wrote the song we were together for less than a year, and that was a real thing that happened; we went to a batting cage in Michigan, and I’m a super poor sport, and I couldn’t hit any of the balls so I threw the bat. I realize now that it was an insane red flag for her, like “Whoa, maybe I shouldn’t be dating someone with such a temper.” But I was trying to write a song that was like a love song but also touched on how funny it is to have these little quirks, like, yeah, I have a little bit of a temper, so I might as well point it out.
TD: Are there any artists that you’d like to collaborate with? And do you have any dream collaborators?
LL: There’s this one band called Slothrust, actually Boston-based. The front-woman Leah, she’s an insanely good songwriter, and she just absolutely shreds on guitar. We have wanted to tour together, and so I’d love to write some songs with her. There’s another amazing songwriter from Michigan, his band is Frontier Ruckus, and we plan on doing something together. As far as dream collaborators go, my biggest dream collaborator ever would be Sufjan Stevens. I’m just so enamored with him, as I have been since I was like 14. Kind of a long shot, but that would be my dream for sure.
TD: Lastly, what’s something that Lady Lamb fans should know that they might not know about you?
LL: Something that fans probably wouldn’t know about me is that I always wanted to be in the WNBA. Before I found music, I was a little basketball hot shot, it was my whole life. In sixth grade I was the only sixth grader on a team full of tall eighth graders, and I was starting point guard. So yeah, I was a little basketball star, fans probably didn’t know that one.