Lily and the Pearl
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Lily and the Pearl

Annapolis, Maryland, United States | SELF

Annapolis, Maryland, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Folk


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"College News Album Review"

Album Review: Laura Brino

Maryland songwriter brings ingenuity and originality to songwriting on How We Survived

By Joe Anello

While it’s not always up my alley, there’s no denying the talent seen in peculiar or eccentric female songwriters. Limited in their past exposure, the genre has seen a boost in popularity since acts like Feist hit it big time. (Thanks in no small part to that iPod commercial.)

We here at College News encourage you to embrace your inner whimsical nature by acquainting yourself with Laura Brino. Brino’s no newcomer to the scene. Playing piano since she was three, she has three albums to her name and plenty to offer for fans of the genre.

Brino may not have the non-stop hooks of Feist, but she’s lyrically effective and just as creative. This Maryland singer/songwriter has the musical DNA similar to Dido or Natalie Merchant.

How We Survived Is Laura’s third solo effort, dropped in July of this year. It follows up on 2006’s A Strange and Beautiful Trip and 2008’s Elephant.

Like most similar artists, Brino provides the vocals, acoustic guitar, and piano on the album. Going above and beyond, she also wrote, mixed, and produced all but two of the disc’s tracks. The amount of work involved is easily discerned as soon as you press play.

“This Lake” is an ethereal indie tune, full of metaphorical lyrics and echoey vocals. Brino’s breathy delivery lends itself perfectly to the track’s guitar-laden ambience. Timely electric strums keep it lively.

My favorite track on the disc, “Running Shoes” elegantly screams for radio airplay. Upbeat and quirky, it is the most ready for mainstream song on How We Survived. Supported by a gentle bass line, the catchy refrain will remain in your head long after your headphones come out.

“The Biggest Meteor I’ve Ever Seen” keeps a steady pace while on its love-song track, with lyrics of clear night skies and inside-filling butterflies. For all the gents’ out there, try this track when you next woo a pretty lady on your couch. They’ll assume you’re deep and metaphorical too. (Which is true, right?)

Laura’s MySpace page gives valid insight into the songwriter’s personality and features plenty of videos, including one in which she covers the legendary Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” Keep an eye on it for upcoming performances.

Keep your ear to Laura Brino; she’ll take you on the pleasantest of rides.

Laura Brino can next be seen playing a cancer benefit on October tenth in Baltimore. You can find How We Survived along with her prior albums available for digital downloady goodness on iTunes.
09/30/09 - College News Magazine

"Baltimore Unsigned's Artist of the Month"

With a breathy voice and a keen sense of melody, Annapolis-based
singer/songwriter Laura Brino has a charming musical appeal. Brino has
noticeably grown as an artist since her January 2007 session on
Baltimore Unsigned.

Laura's new six-song EP Elephant has a warm, breezy feel that's
fitting for the start of summer. From bubbly tracks like "Something
More" to the wistful "I Fold," it's clear Brino has a bright future. - 89.7 WTMD

"CD Review- 08/08"

Laura Brino - Elephant EP

Produced by Laura Brino and Sean Jackson

Mixed by Sean Jackson

“Breathy” is an overused adjective used to describe female vocals, but in this case it is warranted. Laura Brino’s voice breathes through these six songs like a living woodwind.

This prettily packaged EP (against a pale yellow background, little sketched elephants hang onto tree branches like Christmas ornaments) starts with “Elephant” in which a guitar gently plucked and cymbals lightly tapped keep time; midway through the song, a stronger piano and then a snare drum elevate the song to leadoff status. “I Fold,” the disc’s second track, is a crisp light rocker with a simple yet signature piano line. Deft backup vocals of the ooh, ahh, and la la la variety give the songs richness, as do cello and subtly deployed tambourine. While “Elephant” does not break new ground with its arrangements (although the song that plays on Ms. Brino’s website has a unique hand-tapped bongo beat that gives it a Bebel Gilberto-as-remixed feel) the songs have an innate likeability and listenability. Like many musicians before her, Ms. Brino is a lapsed art-student, and her assuredness as an artist comes through from the delightful cover to the lovely set of songs inside. (self-released)

-Chris Gorham - Performer Magazine

"OCTOBER 2008 ElePhant CD Review"

ElePhant, the new release from singer-songwriter Laura Brino(
is a gem of an album. Full of superb original songs, a great pop sensibility, and a beautiful voice, Brino wears her heart on her sleeve with a disc of tunes that deal with vulnerability, insecurity, and apprehension. Delivered in a manner that truly speaks from her heart, she caresses her words with an emotional lilt., conveying her feelings in a manner that draws the listener into her private world, making the album a personal and intimate listening experience. Brino, who also plays guitar and piano, has a delicate inflection that mirrors the fragile nature of her relationship songs. Her trepidation is best revealed in songs like the title track, Rapunzel and The Mockingbird Song, which are quieter and more introspective. On top of beautiful melodies, her vocals float over the music with a delicate nuance that makes her sound exposed to the world. I Fold and Something More are radio-friendly slices of pure pop that would sound right at home on any number of shows on the CW. With only six songs, ElePhant clocks in at just over 26 minutes. It did leave me wanting more, but for my money, I'll take quality over quantity every time.
- Chesapeake Music Guide by Michael Macey

"University of Richmond Show Review"

Brino entertains with carefree set

Laura Brino, a naturally gifted singer and songwriter, has a style that is all her own. Her first CD was released in 2006, but her list of original songs includes many more than the 13 on the album. Her audience at The Cellar on Friday night heard the full range of her extensive original song collection.
She writes about love, war and the pursuit of happiness. Her voice is reminiscent of Jewel, Norah Jones and Tori Amos. It's very smooth and delicate, yet diverse. No, she can't yodel like Jewel, but she knows how to hit a high note and how to sing those long, drawn-out melodies. Her voice didn't falter a single time during Friday's performance.
With only her voice, acoustic guitar and drummer Ken Crawn, her songs are all surprisingly different. Songs with much slower tempos like "Junebug" are more contemplative and solemn. Songs such as "Pick Me Up" and "Purple Kind of Day" are more stirring with much faster tempos. The extra bounce doesn't take away from the deepness of her lyrics. It adds just the right amount of foot-tapping beat to make listeners take notice.
Brino's presence was laid-back and carefree, but magnetic nonetheless. Her banter and jokes between songs made her even more enjoyable. Listeners would get much more out of her live performance than her CD. Her quirky confidence and raw talent could only be witnessed live.
She is working on a second CD with a producer in Los Angeles. She hopes to get a record contract this time around, she said.
Brino learned how to play the guitar when she was six and living in Annapolis, MD., but she soon quit taking lessons and taught herself. While on stage at The Cellar, she admitted that she didn't even know the chords of her own songs. You wouldn't know by the sound of it.
After high school, she attended the Maryland Institute College of Art but never graduated. After going to beauty school for a year to secure an income for herself, she decided to move out to Jackson Hole, WY.
There in an old hotel room with a clear view of the Rocky Mountains, she wrote most of the songs on her CD and many more. She says she can't stop writing songs. The title of her CD "A Strange and Beautiful Trip" is also the 10th song on her CD. It is about that sic month trip of self discovery and transformation. In fact, the back of her CD cover is a picture taken out the back window of her car of the mountains that inspired her, she said.
Her music is great to relax to and probably a good companion to homework. If people find themselves on a similar self-exploration rod trip, her CD would also be a necessary addition.
All of her songs are very personal and obviously come straight from her own emotional experiences. It's this rawness that makes her music as infectious as it is. Her persistence to remain original is a quality hard to find in singers today.
At only 24, she has performed all over the East Coast. Her drummer, Crawn, who has performed everything from blues to swing to jazz, said her unique style is definitely bound for success. Her prolific songwriting is an attribute that will take her far, he said.
- February 2007 The Collegian by Megan Wilson

"Shippensburg University Show Review"

"How does everything sound out there? The guitar, vocals, everything sound all right?" asked Laura Brino during a short break in her impressive set at McFeely's coffeehouse Saturday night. Everything sounded more than all right, with Brino's bright beautiful sound filling up the room and her playful conversation with the crowd keeping the audience entertained. "I love coming to Shippensburg" Brino said. ""The crown is always very attentive, and I appreciate that. I just played at a bar in Richmond, VA and I much prefer an environment where I can actually hear myself." Brino's stop at McFeely's was a blid on her radar screen of late, with stops all along the east coast as well as a trip to Los Angeles to record a new album-her first with what Brino called "a real live producer, who actually knows what he's doing."
"It's strange to hear songs that you've written get all chopped up in the studio.," Brino said. " I recorded my first CD by myself, and it's a little bit overwhelming."
With only a bongo plater accompanying her on stage, Brino was able to win over the crowd immediately. Her set was made up of almost all originals, which didn't seem to bother the audience. "Visions of Jackson" one of Brino's stand-out songs of the night, began with her gently finger-picking her guitar and vocals that demonstrated exactly why Brino's career seems to be on the way up.
Despite her excitement about recording in Los Angeles, Brino still enjoys live performances, like the one on Saturday night.
"I much prefer playing live shows than recording in a studio," Brino Said. "I love hearing those 'beautiful mistakes' as I call them. A crack in the voice or a scratch on the strings of a guitar. I think it's what makes live music so great. "
Even though the crowd inside McFeely's was slightly lacking, the 10 or 15 people who stuck around were clearly enjoying Brino's set, due in part to her constant interaction with the audience. "this song is a little bit of a pick me up for you guys, " Brino said. " Coincidentally, it's called "Pick Me Up". Brino went on to solicit audience participation in the form of whistling, before the off key tune of the crown caused her to blurt out, "actually I hate audience participation. Never mind." While her original material was beyond impressive, Brino was able to poke fun at the lack of cover songs in her set. "Last time I was here, I knew one cover song by The Postal Service, " Brino said. "Well, nothing's changed. I still only know one cover songs, and i'm going to play it for you right now."
Surprisingly, it seemed as if the audience was simply waiting out the cover song, being more interested in hearing more of her original work. Brino also relayed a story about playing in a hip-hop club close to her home in Annapolis, MD.
"I wasn't really sure that a hip-hop/funk backing band would be the best fit for my style of music, but you know what-I think it actually worked out." Brino said, "I was pretty nervous before I went on stage." Brino described herself as "being on an extended leave of absence from school." While that may be true, the crowd of students on Saturday night seemed to hope she wouldn't take an extended leave of absence from McFeely's.
- The Slate-Ben Wolfgang


Lily and the Pearl:

Snowglobe (Single) c. 2011
Snowglobe c. Spring 2012

Laura Brino:

Laura Brino Demo CD 2005
A Strange and Beautiful Trip c. 2006
ElePhant c. 2008
How We Survived c. 2009



this is the story. of girl meets boy. of lily meeting the pearl.

on her 23rd birthday a songstress went out into the world. she danced with her friends and laughed and twirled. she was wearing boots. and a lace skirt. a boy approached her and asked about her dance moves. to be more precise, he commented on her Ashlee Simpson-esque appearance. She assumed he must have been talking about her beautifully spastic ho-down move she had been perfecting on the dance floor.

they spoke about music. they were both musicians. they thought maybe they would form an 80's cover band. he was a teenage rock star in the 80's. she was born in the 80's. it never happened.

so much time passed. they met again. she went to his show. they went to a tire park. they wrote each other letters. they wrote songs for each other. they produced song after song through email. back and forth.

they started playing in each others bands. she played bass in his band. he played anything she wanted him to in her band.

the girl released some albums. she'd let him play on some, but she held so tightly on to her music. she wouldn't let anyone else in.

finally one day she realized it was time. she brought a package of songs to the boy. written and ready to be watered. like seeds she handed them to him. she relaxed in the calm of letting go. she closed her eyes and listened to the music he added.

they spent hours making music. they played together. they fought together. they laughed. they banged on trash cans as drums and sang harmonies at 4 am.

they discovered the secret that was buried so deep.

together they could do anything.

Venues Played:
Ramshead On Stage (MD)
49 West (MD)
World Cafe Live (Philly)
Grape Street (Philly)
The Knitting Factory (NYC)
Pianos (NYC)
Rockwood Music Hall (NYC)
Lizard Lounge (Boston)
Starr Hill (VA)
Jammin Java (VA)

Colleges Played:
Shippensburg University
Towson University
Goucher College
University of Maryland
University of Richmond
Bucknell University