The work of an artist approaching the top of her game
Adam England
13:28 16th August 2022

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One of the most exciting artists to have come out of the UK indie circuit in recent years, Lauran Hibberd continues to evolve her style on Garageband Superstar. There’s a bigger American influence here, something previously hinted at with last year’s ‘How Am I Still Alive?’, featuring Lydia Night of The Regrettes. On Garageband Superstar, Hibberd meshes Brit indie with light-hearted slacker pop and North American pop-punk sensibilities à l’Avril Lavigne – she’s hardly the first artist to be compared to the Canadian over the last couple of years, as pop-punk continues its resurgence, but she’s possibly the most interesting.

On single ‘Still Running’, she ropes in DJ Lethal of Limp Bizkit for a hip-hop inspired number that culminates in a minute or so of delightful fuzzy rock, while ‘Step Mom’, also released as a single, is the sort of radio-friendly pop-punk that would be perfect for a teen comedy in the Freaky Friday vein.

Hibberd’s style has always been slightly off-beat, and there are some wonderfully idiosyncratic lyrics here as we discuss everything from longjohns to Bichon Frise dogs. As an album, it’s a lot of fun – particularly in the first half with tracks like ‘Average Joe’ and ‘Hot Boys’, but it does venture into more serious territory too. “I need to calm the hell down/I need to chill the fuck out”, Hibberd sings on album closer ‘Last Song Ever’, almost two songs in one in style, while the title track explores the trials and tribulations of superstardom. 

Hibberd has definitely evolved. Her sound is more polished, more confident – and she’s been working with producer Larry Habbitt for Garageband Superstar, who’s worked with the likes of Nothing But Thieves, Sundara Karma, Marmozets, and Dinosaur Pile-Up. Sonically, we’re not worlds away from the tracks Hibberd announced herself with: ‘Hunny Is This What Adults Do’; ‘Sugardaddy’; ‘Call Shotgun’, of course, but this is the work of an artist approaching the top of her game.

Garageband Superstar arrives 19 August via Virgin Music.

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