Lauren Oglesby, the New Orleans-based singer-songwriter who fronts the band The Light Set, is embarking on a deeper, darker dive into her solo work. Later this month, she’ll premiere a five-song EP under the name LLYDIAN and is today (June 5) premiering the single “The Future.”
LLYDIAN is what Oglesby describes as “a new iteration” of a previous solo project, which was released under a given name. After forming The Light Set, Oglesby had a surplus of material already written which didn’t fit the sound of the band. “After a couple years of focusing on the band, I decided to record those songs separately, and relaunch my solo project under the name LLYDIAN,” says the newly minted LLYDIAN. “I chose that name because it’s a variant spelling of a musical mode, and because it’s a lovely word to say! I’m also very biased towards the letter L, because it is the best letter.”
LLYDIAN’s forthcoming EP is Interiors, a study of “people who are caught up in situations where their exterior lives and actions don’t necessarily match up with their complicated interior worlds of feelings and desires.” The songs were written when Ogelsby was a new transplant to the city surrounded by the endless supply of gifted musicians New Orleans has to offer. As a musician anchored in folk, the city’s dominant music scene was a temporary challenge. “I don’t really play jazz, so I just leaned really hard into a more classical style to try and keep up!” she says. “New Orleans is such an inspiring city, musically and artistically, and I really felt this sense of permission to just sink into writing whatever style or type of song that I wanted to.”
On “The Future,” LLYDIAN laments a lost love who offers too little, too late. It features Layla Sutton on drums, Dave DeCotiis on guitar, Kenny Murphy on bass and James Rosenbloom on cello. LLYDIAN says the song was, though indirectly, inspired by one of the world’s most popular pop singers. “The year was 2015. ‘Hello’ by Adele had just come out. A good friend and I were sitting around spitballing about how awkward it would be to receive that sort of call, years out from a traumatic breakup….and sometime in the next week or so after that, the song just kind of came out.”
Having lived in New Orleans for several years now, Oglesby has found a musical community. “I’ve seen a lot of growth in the folk scene over the past five years! There are more bands, and everyone is really supportive of each other, everyone is playing with each other, and there’s a growing audience. I’ve seen a couple DIY songshare/listening room spaces come and go, and I’d love for one of those to really stick. I only wish I had the time and space to run one myself!”
Interiors will be released June 25. To celebrate, LLYDIAN will host a party as part of The Light Set’s biannual Solstice show at the Marigny Opera House. There’s a $15 suggested donation, and more information can be found here, as well as on LLYDIAN’s Instagram.