The raspy voiced guy in front of me admits that he knows his speaking voice might not convince you he’s a singer but Clyde Lawrence has been creating music since he was a child. Joining him on stage and in the studio (and in their living room) is his younger sister Gracie. Performing under the moniker Lawrence, the siblings have an endearing relationship on and off stage, allowing each other to have their moments in the spotlight. Following their debut album Breakfast, the two returned to their childhood home in New York City to work on their newly released sophomore album aptly titled, Living Room.
One thread that is braided throughout the new album is the idea of “home” and how it can be interpreted differently by many people depending on where you might be in your life. “For us, we’ve been on tour for a really long time and we’re constantly grappling with new definitions of home. At the end of the day though, home is our home,” Gracie tells me. “The biggest association to home for us is music because that’s what has been going in our living room long before this album.”
Gracie continues to describe how at any given day (or time) you could enter the Lawrence household and find a family member playing music, listening to music or even dancing to music. “Home for us is music. The things we write about tend to be things we’re dealing with in the safety of our own home,” Gracie adds. Making the transition from their debut album to Living Room involved a lot of life experiences, from Gracie deciding music would be her full-time job to Clyde moving back home.
Through any of their struggles or triumphs, the pair agree that their parents have always been the strongest support system, so it makes sense that this album would be created in their safe space, surrounded by family. “This album is almost our home, in a way. It is a return to our roots,” Clyde says of Living Room. Though the siblings have matured and evolved, Clyde says at the end of the day, they have maintained their fundamental values as artists. “If [Lawrence] were a television show, Breakfast was season one and Living Room would be season two. It is the same characters and hopefully you’ve gotten to know us through our music but this is the next chapter of what we’re going through.”
One of the album’s most intriguing songs was the first single titled, “Probably Up.” With a funky, upbeat sound and a somewhat elusive lyric, the song is a true testament to the talent that lives within Lawrence. “I think a lot of songs about relationships late at night are sort of romantic,” Clyde says. “But this is a song for my friends, my close female friends, my male friends, my family members; they know that if they need someone to call, I’m probably up at those late hours and so is Gracie.”
The song’s initial inspiration came from the Lawrence family’s overall sleeping schedule. I’m told that it is not unusual for nights to end around 4:00AM on any given day of the week. Gracie candidly says how she got home the other night at around 2:30AM and “everyone was awake in the living room.” Making the most of their busy schedules sometimes results in la ate-night songwriting session or catching up on emails into the early morning. The song evolved into a somewhat romantic (sans booty call) message to their loved ones saying that, they’re probably up if you need something or someone. “We’re the light on when you’re looking out your window and all the other lights are off,” Clyde adds.
From being there for each other to being there for family and friends, the soulful vibes from Lawrence are palpable on and off stage. Taking cues from powerhouse performers like Aretha Franklin and Amy Winehouse, Gracie croons her way through Living Room with an edgy grace that oozes a classic New York City aura. With brother Clyde by her side, the two are an explosive pair that is prepared to ignite stages across the States on their upcoming headlining tour in support of Living Room.