Interview: Alberta Native Rebecca Lappa Transports Us to the Snowy North on ‘Tales of a Taurus’

Rebecca Lappa © Lorraine Mortensen
Rebecca Lappa © Lorraine Mortensen
Vast Canadian landscapes, and a little bit of Vladimir Nabokov, serve as valuable thematic fodder for Rebecca Lappa on her latest release, ‘Tales of a Taurus.’
Stream: ‘Tales of a Taurus’ – Rebecca Lappa

It’s said that if your Zodiac sign is a Taurus, you “enjoy relaxing in serene, bucolic environments, surrounded by soft sounds, soothing aromas, and succulent flavors.”

The snowy scenery in Alberta, Canada could certainly qualify as such a location, and Edmonton native Rebecca Lappa is keen on not just relaxing in the snow, but also drawing lyrical inspiration from it.

Lappa has been making music since childhood and put out her first formal release, Tattered Rose, in 2015. She returned with Tales of a Taurus earlier this year and throughout this album, winter weather analogies dominate. “It’s so lovely when you crack that thin ice, diving under into my Atlantic,” she sings on advance single “Blue Lips.” “You got me biting down on your cold shoulder, hold my breath as we’re freezing over.”

Tales of a Taurus - Rebecca Lappa
Tales of a Taurus – Rebecca Lappa

The singer continues this snow-loving trend on “Forecast” – “Lock yourself out in the cold. I won’t be here when you freeze to the bone ’cause [there’s] no more waiting on you” – and really hammers it home with the music video for “Your One,” filmed in the gorgeous frozen-over Abraham Lake near Banff National Park. In addition to her native Canada, Lappa also gives a shout-out to another massive wintery country with “Lolita,” inspired by the 1955 Russian novel by Vladimir Nabokov.

“I am currently at a point in my life where the most raw and authentic version of myself feels best expressed through pop and alternative music,” Lappa confides. “With this EP, I am continuing my journey of creative expression. My focus is making music and stories that matters to me and hopefully it will impact others.”

In a conversation with Atwood Magazine, Rebecca Lappa elaborated on how evoking her true self, along with recreating the snow-covered landscapes that define her native province of Alberta, gave rise to her latest musical work, Tales of a Taurus.

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:: stream/purchase Tales of a Taurus here ::
:: connect with Rebecca Lappa here ::


Tales of a Taurus - Rebecca Lappa

Atwood Magazine: Let's start by acknowledging your roots: how would you say that the city of Edmonton and/or the natural landscape of Alberta has influenced your artistry and songwriting?

Rebecca Lappa: It has impacted my artistry by making its way into the descriptions of the snowy landscape in my song “Blue Lips.” In the past I have written songs about Alberta’s history and the key geological features in my province, such as the Rocky Mountains, the Wild Rose.  I have also written written songs about the town of Wayne, Alberta and Private Pattison, a recipient of the Victoria Cross, for his actions at the battle of Vimy Ridge.

How would you summarize how your journey in the music biz has gone so far?

Rebecca Lappa: My journey in the business has been long and interesting. With experiences playing the Edmonton Folk Festival Stage, playing at Folk Alliance International in the US, playing Canada House in London and the Great Escape Festival in Brighton and touring Canada by train, being nominated for and winning a Canadian Folk Music Award. After all these years as an independent artist it is amazing to be working with Tonic Records and my great manager, Mandy Wheelwright.

Rebecca Lappa © Lorraine Mortensen
Rebecca Lappa © Lorraine Mortensen

You previewed this release with the singles “Lolita” and “Blue Lips.” How do you feel these songs represented the rest of the album that later followed?

Rebecca Lappa: I feel they were a good representation of the album because they showcased my well crafted lyrics and my new indie pop sound.

What did you find so intriguing about the novel Lolita that you went ahead and created an entire song inspired by it?

Rebecca Lappa: I found it interesting that pop culture continues to use that archetype with young female musicians and so I wrote this song as a continuation and exploration of the use of this narrative in society today.

What are your hopes now that your new EP Tales of a Taurus is out? How do you hope it will allow you to connect with your audience?

Rebecca Lappa: Since the EP has been released, my hope is that people will connect with the experiences that have shaped the songs. I hope it will connect with a wide range of people and allow them to feel less alone in our shared experiences.

Rebecca Lappa © Lorraine Mortensen
Rebecca Lappa © Lorraine Mortensen

It seems like you are trying to strike a balance between glossy indie-pop production and more traditional acoustic playing in your music. Is that so? What techniques do you use to merge the two of them together?

Rebecca Lappa: Having the acoustic guitar merge with the indie pop sound helps give the music raw authenticity. With Louise Burn’s guidance, I was able to take my stories and the sounds I enjoy listening to and blend them on this EP.

EPs oftentimes are warm-ups for full-length releases; is that the case here as well? It seems like this could be a good time to give 2015's Tattered Rose some company in your LP catalogue.

Rebecca Lappa: I have two more singles that were produced by Louise Burns that will be coming out in the fall. These singles will be added to the EP to make a full-length album.

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:: stream/purchase Tales of a Taurus here ::
:: connect with Rebecca Lappa here ::

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Tales of a Taurus - Rebecca Lappa

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