Lauren Duski first captured the public's ear when she finished as the runner-up on Season 12 of The Voice in 2017, and the Michigan native is now officially making her mark on the music scene with the release of her debut EP, Midwestern Girl.
Each track of the project is uniquely different, with traditional country elements fusing with pop leanings that ultimately come together to create a musical picture of both the artist and the person that Duski is. Speaking to PopCulture.com, Duski described her EP as "hopeful," sharing that she wanted to create something that builds on her message of encouraging everyone to know that they're enough exactly as they are.
"I want to encourage people to know that it's okay to not be okay all the time, and I want them to challenge themselves and me to continue to be themselves, and their most authentic self because I think that's so special about being individuals," she said. "There's only one of you. I'm really excited to share that with people."
The EP kicks off with a beautiful instrumental track that Duski explained was chosen to place the listener squarely in the Midwest to prepare them for the songs following.
"The songs to me are a result of where I'm from. I wanted [listeners] to feel what I feel when I listen to that track," she said. "Whether it's riding my bike around northern Michigan in the summer, and building tree forts. it really has that nostalgic feel to me, which is what I wanted for the listener before they dove into more of the songs and more of the lyrics."
After moving through Duski's debut single, "Costume Party," an ode to not being afraid to show the world your true self, the EP arrives at "Runnin' (To You)" and "Heart Hurt Good," two sonically different love songs that both showcase Duski's unique voice and strong songwriting skills.
The last song on the project is "The Weather (Grandpa's Song)," a touching tribute to Duski's grandparents. The song recalls the relationship between the couple and even includes a voicemail from her late grandmother at the end of the track.
"Sharing the greatest love story I've ever witnessed, and that was in my grandparents," Duski said of the song. "I wanted to honor them and how for me, they've set such an incredible example and a kind of love that I could only dream to have. It was really special."
After her appearance on The Voice, Duski took time to fully discover herself as an artist before releasing "Costume Party" in 2018, and judging by the quality of Midwestern Girl, it was time well spent.
"I knew that I wanted to take some time to focus on what I wanted to say in my music, and I knew I didn't have anything that I was really proud of yet to release," Duski explained. "That's why I've taken some time over the last year and a half. It just feels nice to finally be in a place where I know who I am finally as a woman, as an artist in industry, and especially as a woman. I feel like I'm finally getting a grip on who I am, and for the first time, just not afraid to show people all my insecurities and things that are very hard for me to share."0comments
You can stream or purchase Midwestern Girl here.
Photo Credit: Bottoms Up Records