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Heartbreaking and healing: Eve Selis supports niece Lauren Leigh’s solo album Ghost in the Picture

Family affair planned for Solana Beach album release party

Lauren Leigh: PayPal pal helped Ghost in the Picture appear.
Lauren Leigh: PayPal pal helped Ghost in the Picture appear.

Lauren Leigh began singing around the age of five, accompanying the songs in The Little Mermaid until she knew them all by heart. Her aunt, local singer-songwriter Eve Selis, told her that she was already a vocal prodigy. “I didn’t have perfect pitch,” says Leigh, “but I guess I was hitting the notes and keys right.” Music is in her blood: besides Selis, her father Claudio Martin is a guitar virtuoso, and her cousins in the band Omo Cloud perform as well. Now grown up and performing all around San Diego, Leigh has fronted classic country bands such as Wild Heart, as well as singing with Pink Froyd, High Tide Society, Project Analogue, Back to the Garden, and others. Recently, Leigh released her second solo full-length, Ghost in the Picture.

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Half the songs on the album were written about a pandemic romance gone sour. In addition, her best friend died that year, and her son was admitted to the hospital. “I was dealing with a lot of different variances of grief and loss,” she says. “This album is a reaction to that — basically, a lot of heavy topics.” Her recent failed relationship with a fellow songwriter is discussed in the first track, “Foul Play.” “It’s a breakup song, [about] being angry that it’s over: the doubting, questioning, and crying in the shower. And there’s a song called ‘I Loved You,’ which is kind of like an Etta James romantic heartbreaking song.” She also wrote a tune for her son Jack while he was in the hospital, “Jack’s Lullaby,” with other songs touching on topics of depression, mental health awareness, and healing.

She says she wasn’t thinking about making an album last year, but she’d written a bunch of new songs based on recent events and experiences. Then a friend told Leigh that she needed to make this album right away, ponying up $5000 via PayPal to get her started and serving as executive producer. “I was like, ‘Oh crap, oh my gosh, we’re going to make this album.’ I went ahead got the ball rolling and started imagining in my head what the album looked like, sounded like, and which songs I wanted to include and which ones I didn’t.” The project was recorded at two studios and completed in September. All the instrumentals except drums were tracked at Stairway Studios in Los Angeles over one weekend. Lauren employed the musicians herself, booking an Airbnb for everyone and paying them for their time. “Two full days, two twelve-hour-long days, and it was exhausting.”

The percussion parts were recorded at her drummer’s home, while the vocals were tracked with local mainstay Jeff Berkley at his Satellite Studio. Some of the backing vocals were recorded at the San Diego home of Josh Taylor and Sandy King (King Taylor Project), after Leigh found herself with a few new ideas but no more studio time. “They are brilliant at arranging vocals, specifically backing vocals,” she says. After Taylor and King’s pass, the masters were sent back to Berkley for final mixing. There are a total of eight songs on the album. “It’s like drugs!” says Leigh of the ordeal. “That’s why people keep doing this, it’s an insane process. You basically bankrupt yourself just to hear your own songs the way you want to hear them.”

Past Event

Lauren Leigh Album Release

  • Wednesday, January 4, 2023, 8 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+ / $12

Leigh regularly performs at St. Mark Golf Course in San Marcos, where she’ll appear on Friday, December 30 for a late afternoon set. The album release party for Ghost in the Picture is set for January 4 at the Belly Up in Solana Beach. It’s going to be a family affair, with her cousin’s group Omo Cloud opening the show and a guest appearance by Aunt Selis. “It was very important to have my aunt on the show, I want it to be a big night. This is little Lauren, being like five years old watching Eve play, and I want to get on stage with her. It’s not just me sitting with her band; it’s us sharing a bill together. She’s been a hero of mine forever.” The relatives will be taking turns appearing with Leigh, including her father Claudio Martin, who will be playing guitar on the opening song.

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Lauren Leigh: PayPal pal helped Ghost in the Picture appear.
Lauren Leigh: PayPal pal helped Ghost in the Picture appear.

Lauren Leigh began singing around the age of five, accompanying the songs in The Little Mermaid until she knew them all by heart. Her aunt, local singer-songwriter Eve Selis, told her that she was already a vocal prodigy. “I didn’t have perfect pitch,” says Leigh, “but I guess I was hitting the notes and keys right.” Music is in her blood: besides Selis, her father Claudio Martin is a guitar virtuoso, and her cousins in the band Omo Cloud perform as well. Now grown up and performing all around San Diego, Leigh has fronted classic country bands such as Wild Heart, as well as singing with Pink Froyd, High Tide Society, Project Analogue, Back to the Garden, and others. Recently, Leigh released her second solo full-length, Ghost in the Picture.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Half the songs on the album were written about a pandemic romance gone sour. In addition, her best friend died that year, and her son was admitted to the hospital. “I was dealing with a lot of different variances of grief and loss,” she says. “This album is a reaction to that — basically, a lot of heavy topics.” Her recent failed relationship with a fellow songwriter is discussed in the first track, “Foul Play.” “It’s a breakup song, [about] being angry that it’s over: the doubting, questioning, and crying in the shower. And there’s a song called ‘I Loved You,’ which is kind of like an Etta James romantic heartbreaking song.” She also wrote a tune for her son Jack while he was in the hospital, “Jack’s Lullaby,” with other songs touching on topics of depression, mental health awareness, and healing.

She says she wasn’t thinking about making an album last year, but she’d written a bunch of new songs based on recent events and experiences. Then a friend told Leigh that she needed to make this album right away, ponying up $5000 via PayPal to get her started and serving as executive producer. “I was like, ‘Oh crap, oh my gosh, we’re going to make this album.’ I went ahead got the ball rolling and started imagining in my head what the album looked like, sounded like, and which songs I wanted to include and which ones I didn’t.” The project was recorded at two studios and completed in September. All the instrumentals except drums were tracked at Stairway Studios in Los Angeles over one weekend. Lauren employed the musicians herself, booking an Airbnb for everyone and paying them for their time. “Two full days, two twelve-hour-long days, and it was exhausting.”

The percussion parts were recorded at her drummer’s home, while the vocals were tracked with local mainstay Jeff Berkley at his Satellite Studio. Some of the backing vocals were recorded at the San Diego home of Josh Taylor and Sandy King (King Taylor Project), after Leigh found herself with a few new ideas but no more studio time. “They are brilliant at arranging vocals, specifically backing vocals,” she says. After Taylor and King’s pass, the masters were sent back to Berkley for final mixing. There are a total of eight songs on the album. “It’s like drugs!” says Leigh of the ordeal. “That’s why people keep doing this, it’s an insane process. You basically bankrupt yourself just to hear your own songs the way you want to hear them.”

Past Event

Lauren Leigh Album Release

  • Wednesday, January 4, 2023, 8 p.m.
  • Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
  • 21+ / $12

Leigh regularly performs at St. Mark Golf Course in San Marcos, where she’ll appear on Friday, December 30 for a late afternoon set. The album release party for Ghost in the Picture is set for January 4 at the Belly Up in Solana Beach. It’s going to be a family affair, with her cousin’s group Omo Cloud opening the show and a guest appearance by Aunt Selis. “It was very important to have my aunt on the show, I want it to be a big night. This is little Lauren, being like five years old watching Eve play, and I want to get on stage with her. It’s not just me sitting with her band; it’s us sharing a bill together. She’s been a hero of mine forever.” The relatives will be taking turns appearing with Leigh, including her father Claudio Martin, who will be playing guitar on the opening song.

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