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Laura Dawn

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“I was born and raised in Pleasantville, Iowa,” says Laura. “So I grew up on storytelling music…Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline. Oh, and Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard! I especially loved the harmonies and backing vocals of country music. But I was also really into The Smashing Pumpkins and older rock groups like The Clash and The Pixies. I wanted to write songs like those country artists—stories of the things I’d gone through that were really personal and honest—but with the sounds of rock that I love.”

All she needed were some stories to tell. But Pleasantville just didn’t provide the proper inspiration. At 21 years old, Laura Dawn packed her bags and moved to New York City Believer is the soundtrack to her roller coaster life of the next few years. “I showed up in New York, straight from Iowa, with almost no money and not knowing a single soul. I started out living at the Lexington Avenue YMCA, and then graduated to a lower East Side squat on 13th St., where I was sleeping on a board on top of my suitcases. And within a couple of years, I’d become the singer in an all-girl art-punk band that ended up being a toast of the town for a while. We were going to all these decadent parties, drinking a lot, doing drugs for the first time. Hell, in Pleasantville, Iowa, the heaviest drug I’d ever seen was Budweiser! And now I’d gotten involved in this crazy scene. It was fun at first, but after a while, I really lost my way. I had to deal with some very intense personal trials—some serious heartbreak, a very close friend dying—and it just threw this life I was living into a new light.

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