LAY LOW is the alter-ego of Icelandic singer/songwriter Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir.
Born in London to a Sri Lankan father and Icelandic mother, LAY LOW’s musical abilities stretch as far as her geographical heritage. Starting out as a pianist and bass guitar player; she has jammed on keyboards and synthesizers with Benny Crespo’s Gang, found her voice in blues folk and a little honky tonk bop collaborating with producers such as Liam Watson. Although her new material is taking on a new trip hop twist, LAY LOW’s distinct musical journey can still be felt at its roots, producing a honed yet experimental sound that is all her own.
Vocally LAY LOW combines a rich chocolate sound with a sweet cinnamon rasp and a sip of whisky to take the edge off. Her live shows have seen her reach round and hug a room of 200 people using only her voice in acapella. Seeing LAY LOW perform is unique, musically playful, she spins new yarns out of her songs, exudes warmth and radiates sincerity that amounts to a profoundly personal experience.
LAY LOW came about in 2006, after Lovísa was contacted by a local label that picked up on a raw demo that she had uploaded onto MySpace. Not one to waste an opportunity, LAY LOW’s debut album ‘Please Don’t Hate Me’ was released that same year. An intoxicating take on classic Americana sounds, the record topped the Icelandic charts and became the bestselling original album in the country, winning no less than 3 Icelandic Music Awards.
To prepare for her next album Lovísa drew inspiration from Icelandic nature, travelling to remote country villages. With such a vast range of influences this isolation allowed LAY LOW to come into her own. She found something special with producer Liam Watson [White Stripes, Pete Molinari & Holly Golightly] on her second album, “Farewell Good Night’s Sleep”. The album was soon picked up by the music team at iTunes in the US who tipped LAY LOW as one of the best discoveries of 2008.
LAY LOW could never have predicted where her travels would take her in 2009. She spent a large part of the year supporting Emilíana Torrini on tour and performing solo across the world. This included appearances at Glastonbury, Into The Great Wide Open, Slottsfjell, and End of the Road festivals. In 2012 LAY LOW toured North America and Europe with fellow Icelanders, Of Monsters and Men.
On “Brostinn strengur” (Broken String), her 3rd LP album, LAY LOW explored her talent for collaboration, harnessing the energy of Icelandic female poetry over the last 150 years. Using the poems as her lyrics, she sings in Icelandic and creates an enchanting sound of soothing folk with experimental indie twists. Nominated for 5 Icelandic Music Awards, the album was commended as her most experimental record yet, showing a confident use of LAY LOW’s broad range of musical styles.
LAY LOW’s new single ‘The Backbone’ has a poetic resonance with Neil Young and P.J. Harvey; a lick of Nancy Sinatra’s husky attitude and a dose of Portishead’s dirty acid trip. ‘The Backbone’ stirs up a cocktail of something you’ve never had before. And with her upcoming LP, set for international release in the autumn of 2012, you’ll soon be back at the bar asking for more of LAY LOW.