Today’s Song: Lauren Ruth Ward’s Mystic, Dreamy “Hungry Barber” Challenges the Mainstream

Lauren Ruth Ward © Nicol Biesek
Lauren Ruth Ward © Nicol Biesek
Creativity flows freely through Lauren Ruth Ward’s “Hungry Barber,” a fresh, unconventional and dreamy take on the songwriting process.
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Stream: “Hungry Barber” – Lauren Ruth Ward

The current climate in the music scene is arguably not one where music disruptors are praised. You may find the odd artist trying to do their own thing, drifting away from current trends, but with the amount of music being put out every single day, you probably won’t hear much about them on the radio or in mainstream pop circles.

Song structure has become a no-brainer: When we want to tell someone about this one song we heard on the radio, we hum the chorus — that one bit that’s catchier than the rest and gets repeated a few times throughout the song. We usually think of a song as an amalgam of a few verses, a reappearing pre-chorus and chorus, and perhaps a middle eight.

Hungry Barber - Lauren Ruth Ward
Hungry Barber – Lauren Ruth Ward

Los Angeles-based Lauren Ruth Ward challenges this concept of song structure in her recent song “Hungry Barber,” stepping out of her usual writing methods to dive into her psyche and explore it without boundaries, letting creativity flow freely.

Tell me your theories
I’m just waiting to believe them.
We’re the 2 AM club,
drunk and horny.
Will your magic mouth be speaking?

“‘Hungry Barber’ is a departure from our usual sound and process,” the artist shared upon her song’s April 5th release. “The main percussive elements were done by tapping and flipping the pages of my songwriting journal. First pass, stream of conscience lyrics about the inner dialogue when chasing the night. Recorded by Eduardo and produced by us both. It’s the antithesis of what we songwriters are asked to do: Write a 3 min-ish song, use budget to work with bigger names, hire players, etc. Ed and I wanted to see what it would sound like to create in-house and not think ‘what genre are we?’ or ‘what will the label think?’”

The bohemian atmosphere conveyed in “Hungry Barber” accurately mirrors Ward’s trajectory and musical journey. Having taken up hairstyling as her career path and succeeded in it, she was never thoroughly fulfilled: “I saw the music then, but I was behind a chair six days a week,” she says. “To be honest, I wanted a band… Every time I found someone to play with, they had a day job — they didn’t have the dream. And you really gotta fuckin’ have it to live in a world that’s musical.”

Lauren Ruth Ward © Nicol Biesek
Lauren Ruth Ward © Nicol Biesek

Eventually, Ward ended up trusting her gut and moved to Los Angeles, where she formed a band alongside Liv Slingerland (bass), India Pascucci (drums) and guitarist and fellow songwriter Eddie Rivera, and that is how Ward’s 2018 debut album Well, Hell (released via Weekday Records) came to be.

“Hungry Barber,” however, was released as a work of its own, shining with its own light. Despite staying away from storytelling, the lyrics are evocative and carefully curated, as if Ward had ripped pieces of paper from her notebook and successfully put them together to create a song.

You make the next day harder.
Shitty whiskey, hungry barber.
You used that word wrong again.
I don’t want to be the one to tell you.
I hope it never ends.

Conceptualized by Aaron Eisenberg, the recently-released “Hungry Barber” accompanying video mirrors the mysticism of the song, as well as Ward’s free spirit. She appears in a sort of alternative Wonderland – in some ways, it feels to have been shot from the point of view of someone who is tripping, resulting in an unconventional, dreamy outcome, reminiscent of the likes of Florence and The Machine.

Exuding an essence of its own kind, “Hungry Barber” and its pairing video are a showcase of Lauren Ruth Ward’s freedom, inducing a mood that has a hippie tinge to it and opening the doors to a creative liberty much needed in the current music climate.

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:: stream/purchase “Hungry Barber” here ::
Stream: “Hungry Barber” – Lauren Ruth Ward

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Hungry Barber - Lauren Ruth Ward

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? © Nicol Biesek

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