The Art of Little Scream

BY Andrea WarnerPublished Mar 28, 2011

Montreal-based singer-songwriter Little Scream, aka Laurel Sprengelmeyer, has plenty to shout about. Set to receive her Canadian citizenship later this year, she's just a few weeks away from embarking on a North American tour, and finally, after four years in the making, Little Scream's debut album, The Golden Record, hits stores on April 12. Though it's not unusual to spend a lot of time crafting one's debut, Sprengelmeyer laughingly acknowledges she took her sweet time getting here. After following a boyfriend to Montreal, the Iowa-born musician found herself distracted by her new adopted hometown. She played in a band, but didn't record anything until she started working on Little Scream songs in 2007.

I was working two jobs and playing shows whenever I could, but it kind of took a while to get everything together to record an album," she says. "It's been a little bit slow, but I'm glad it's finally happening!" The wait was worth it. The Golden Record is a moody, bold, artful declaration that Sprengelmeyer admits borrows from a host of influences: Joni Mitchell, Cocteau Twins and Ricki Lee Jones all serve as inspirations. But, ultimately it's Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre's Richard Reed Parry, who serves as the album's co-producer, that Sprengelmeyer credits with helping her shape a recording aesthetic.

Aesthetic is a word that comes up often when discussing Little Scream. Sprengelmeyer, who also painted the album's cover illustration, admits that crafting an overall creative experience is part of what makes Little Scream a labour of love. "I want to have everything that comes out reflect part of that aesthetic, and I don't always have time," she laughs. "I'm looking forward to focusing on other aspects of the creative process: sonic landscapes that are coming out in live performances, the visuals in live performances. It's this cohesive picture in my mind. Whether or not that translates into reality..." Sprengelmeyer trails off, a Little Scream with no words left.

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