(Photo courtesy of Little Scream’s Facebook Page)
Laurel Sprengelmeyer, better known by her stage name Little Scream, is set to be the next indie darling. Sprengelmeyer get her start in the music industry by working as a backing vocalist on The National’s 2008 album High Violet. Her debut album, 2011’s The Golden Record, received a rating of 8.1 from the notoriously critical Pitchfork, and was on the longlist for Canada’s Polaris Prize. The Golden Record saw collaborations from Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, who co-produced the record, as well as his bandmate Sarah Neufeld, The National’s Aaron Dessner, and Silver Mt. Zion’s Rebecca Foon.
Five years later, Little Scream is signed to Merge Records (Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel, Conor Oberst) and managed by Zeitgeist (Death Cab for Cutie, Best Coast). Having just come off tour with fellow Zeitgeist act Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Sprengelmeyer is preparing to release Little Scream’s sophomore album, Cult Following, on May 6. Cult Following will see Sprengelmeyer working with even more celebrity collaborations.
The 12-track album will include appearances from Sufjan Stevens, Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Owen Pallett (Arcade Fire, Final Fantasy), Sharon Van Etten, Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio), and Mary Margaret O’ Hara. Richard Reed Parry is once again credited on the album, this time as Sprengelmeyer’s “creative partner”.
Despite these all-star guest appearances, Sprengelmeyer holds her own where it matters most: her music. Cult Following has seen four singles so far leading up to it’s release next week, and each single explores a different side to Sprengelmeyer’s blend of top 40 pop and her roots in the experimental/art rock world. First single “Love as a Weapon” occupies a space between Ingrid Michaelson and St. Vincent, with a vocal melody and beat so simple and infectious that it’s impossible not to get into it.
“Someone Will Notice” is a lush track in the vein of Broken Social Scene that was inspired by Amanda Todd and the many other victims of depression and bullying. “The Kissing” features Kyp Malone’s guest appearance as well as waves of guitar riffs. The fourth and latest single “Dark Dance” is a glistening effort that manages to marry the pop sensibility of “Love as a Weapon” with the lo-fi vibe of “Someone Will Notice”. The big names attached to Cult Following and Little Scream will give Sprengelmeyer’s project the attention it deserves, but her achievements and talent are enough to turn her into the next mainstream crossover.
Little Scream’s next album, Cult Following, will be released on May 6. Check out the leading singles from Cult Following and her debut album The Golden Record below!