Laura Gibson, recently announced her new album Empire Builder, due for release on April 1 via Barsuk. Gibson has confirmed a US and European Spring tour in support of Empire Builder that kicks off March 16 in Pittsburg, PA (supporting Shearwater) and includes a stop at New York City’s Joe’s Pub where she headlines on April 9. The full tour is listed below. Today Laura Gibson has released the first single, “The Cause,”
Empire Builder is named for the Amtrak route Laura Gibson took while moving from Portland, Oregon to New York City in the summer of 2014; a decision to enter graduate school, to move away from a supportive community, a close-knit family and her long-time boyfriend. Out of her comfort zone, she found even more of a challenge than she’d envisioned. Immediately upon arrival, she broke her foot and barely left her 5th floor apartment for the first two months. Then, on March 26th, 2015, her East Village building burned to the ground in a horrific gas explosion which killed two people and left many homeless.
Gibson escaped from her apartment unharmed, but lost everything: all identification, eyeglasses, musical instruments, years of notebooks and every word she had written in response to her move. She spent the next few months rebuilding her life, bouncing between friends’ couches and guest rooms, finishing her second semester, and all the while rewriting the lyrics she had lost. A financial recovery was made possible with help and support from hundreds of friends, fans and strangers. It is no surprise that Empire Builder stands as her most personal record to date.
Gibson gathered a stellar band of old friends to complement her songs: guitarist/bassist Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie, Menomena), drummer/percussionist Dan Hunt (Neko Case) and composer/violinist Peter Broderick. Other contributors include Nate Query of the Decemberists and vocalist Alela Diane. Gibson co-produced the record with John Askew (The Dodos, Neko Case), spending her school breaks in his home studio and in Broderick’s studio on the Oregon Coast.
Empire Builder grapples with independence, womanhood, solitude, connection and aloneness. Amidst trauma, loss and recovery, she rediscovered songwriting as a means of understanding her own life and choices. If Gibson has a thesis, it’s perhaps within the final words of the title track: “Hurry up and lose me / Hurry up and find me again.” With clear-eyed honesty, urgency and warmth, Empire Builder succeeds in capturing the moment between loss and rediscovery.
Laura Gibson Tour Dates
March 16 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe*
March 17- Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern *
March 18 – Ferndale, MI -The Loving Touch *
March 19 – Chicago, IL – Schubas *
March 31 – – Atlanta, GA – Red Light Cafe
April 1- Raleigh, NC – Kings Barcade
April 2 – Washington, DC – Iota Club & Cafe
April 3 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
April 8 – Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
April 9 – New York City, NY – Joe’s Pub
April 14 – Portland, OR -The Old Church
April 15 – Seattle, WA – Fremont Abbey
April 22 – Brussels, BE – Huis 23@AB (special solo performance)
April 23 – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli Vredenburg Cloud
April 25 – Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen
April 26 – London, UK – Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
April 27 – Paris, FR – Point Ephemere (co-headline with Grant Lee Phillips)
April 28 – Amsterdam, NL – Tuinzaal
April 29 – Marienburg Church, NL – Nijmegen
April 30 – Gent, BE – Trefpunt
May 1 – Lessines, BE – Roots and Roses Festival
May 2 – Berlin, DE – Kantine am Berghain
May 3- Leipzig, DE – Werk 2
May 5 – Graz, AUT – Postgarage
May 6 – Vienna, AUT- Haus Der Musik
* solo dates supporting Shearwater