Videos by American Songwriter
On June 7, California rising indie-folk star Lauren Shera will release Once I Was A Bird (featuring guest vocals from Abigail Washburn and Kristin Hersh), and make her Bonnaroo debut that weekend. We’re excited to bring you a sneak peak of Once I Was A Bird with an exclusive stream of the gorgeous track “Stealth,” on of Shera’s “favorite songs to sing.” We got the details on the song’s origins below.
What inspired “Stealth?”
At the time I was coping with some difficult life changes, and was feeling trapped in my head and weighted down by a lot of sadness. I wound up shaping the verses around this picture of someone that had changed; watching as they became a person I no longer knew but feeling helplessly shackled to them. The song is a plea to be released from those ties and set free again.
This song and many on the record are “breakup songs”, a term I strongly dislike and try to avoid associating with the music that I write. To me the real subject matter is that of the human experience: Love and loss, regrowth and change. It’s certainly not a new concept and all I can do is offer up my experience with it, from the most genuine and heartfelt place that I can.
When did you write it?
“Stealth” was written in the summer or fall of 2009. It’s hard to pinpoint dates now as most of the songs on this record were written quickly, in something like a trance or a fog. I had been living in Chicago for a little while, and after I came home to California in the spring I wrote this song.
Tell us about recording the song.
The production and recording process of this song was fairly simple compared to other tracks on the album that have more extensive arrangements. My favorite part was singing the multiple layers of vocals; from the earliest demo I made of the track and sent to my producer during pre-production, I had layered the vocals and knew that I wanted a sort of choir-like effect by having sparse instrumentation under the power of a big vocal presence. At the time Bon Iver’s record For Emma, Forever Ago had just come out and I was so moved by his vocal sound and definitely found some inspiration there. “Stealth” remains one of my favorite songs to sing and one of my favorite ways to start a live set, as I feel like it’s an honest and meaningful introduction for my audience.