Laura Barrett is a musical scientist. Her whole musical career – like many important scientific advances – rests solely on a hunch explored and a chance experiment gone right.
As the story goes, the classically trained Barrett was trolling eBay for a midi controller back in 2005 when she stumbled upon a kalimba.
After a few mouse clicks and some patience, a tiny African thumb piano was all hers, and the experiment – could she create cool music with this thing? – began.
Her debut gig at a Weird Al Yankovic cover night provided enough positive feedback to spur her first original song, a sci-fi ballad called Robot Ponies, and then the EP Earth Sciences. Since then, she’s kept things refreshingly unconventional by steadily incorporating strange instruments into her live show. She’s also toured internationally as a member of the Hidden Cameras and added accompaniment to Victory Garden, her debut LP that was released in September.
Barrett’s music began as an experiment that has since become an indie-pop phenomenon.