Pebaluna’s Lauren Coleman has a common trajectory–falling in love with instruments at first touch (a ukulele), an ear trained on Aretha Franklin in her parents’ car, Sundays singing in a Las Vegas Church choir. The uncommon part is what she’s done with it. Lauren and collaborator Matt Embree’s 2012 album Carny Life stretches comfortably between genres, conjuring Motown, reggae, Torch, gospel, folk, and funk in a way that’s warm, fuzzy, and haunting.
Those classic influences come together with a crafted depth owed to Lauren’s personal experiences heartache, hard-fought battles with self, the lost dog after which the band is named and what she calls “more of a school” than a band: Matt Embree offering support and direction on and off the record and “keeping everyone on their toes”, and drummer Jessica Lankford and bassist Jon Grillo providing ” the perfect balance to Matt and I’s right-brained perspectives”.
Add to that a range of performing experience fronting a Punk band when Lauren was 15, singing with The Sound of Animals Fighting, and performing with a Zombie Pop Rock Opera, and Pebaluna’s ability to collaborate, adapt, and meld begins to make a lot of sense: something you feel like you’ve heard before because it contains the familiar, and at the same time expands into something completely untouched.