LP brings ‘Lost on You’ tour to Belly Up Aspen
IF YOU GO …
Where: Belly Up Aspen
When: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 8:30 p.m.
How much: $22-$35
Tickets: Belly Up box office; http://www.bellyupaspen.com
LP is getting her moment in the spotlight.
The singer and songwriter — who was born Laura Pergolizzi but performs as LP — went through the wringer in the music business with two record deals that didn’t produce records. And she’s been behind the scenes writing songs for pop stars like Cher, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna.
But with her most recent album, “Lost on You,” and its title track, she’s having a breakthrough as a solo artist. The song topped the charts across Europe last year and has LP on a monthlong North American tour that comes to Belly Up on Tuesday. Her booming voice and catchy, cool take on blues rock have made her a critical and underground favorite for years, but “Lost on You” is making her a star.
“I always fancied myself an indie artist,” she said in a recent phone interview from the road in Oregon. “I didn’t set out to be a pop star ever. But I always wanted to connect — like any songwriter wants to connect — through their art with as many as people as possible.”
If the crowds are bigger (she’ll play Coachella this summer) and the tours are longer (she’s been on the road for most of the last year) it’s not changing her approach as an artist.
“I’m not into forced radio hits or trying to write a hit,” she said. “I’m trying to write a connection, always. It’s been a beautiful thing to have happen.”
“Lost on You” and her previously best-known song “Into the Wild” are break-up songs, and most of her work is forged out of her personal life.
“I think the songs that really ring true are the ones that have something to do with yourself,” she said.
But she’s relished her role as a songwriter-for-hire, which she likens to an actor getting into character.
“I think it’s fun to write with someone else, because you get to be them for a day,” she said. “It’s a nice breather from my damn self.”
LP and her band don’t usually play the songs she’s written for others at live shows — don’t expect her to do her version of Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That)” on Tuesday — but she does take pride in the way other artists interpret her work.
“I’ll play a friend a demo version of my Rihanna song, and what’s cool is they can see how similar it is,” she said.
Pergolizzi is at work on a new album she expects to release this year and said she may have a new song ready to go for the Aspen show, which marks her local debut. She also has been releasing a series of videos in her “A Night at The McKittrick Hotel” series this winter, showcasing her soaring live performances.
Soon after the current tour was announced, LP sold out two dates in San Francisco and stops in Seattle, Chicago, Brooklyn, Boston, Philadelphia and elsewhere (tickets are still available for the Aspen show and Wednesday’s at the Boulder Theater). But if she’s in the midst of a star turn, LP’s trying not to think too much about it.
“Momentum is a thing that people are always trying to get, so I should honor that and enjoy it and not get too graspy and too hyper-aware of it,” she said. “Just toss it up to the gods or whatever.”