Every time I watch this video, it just wrecks me” - Bobby Carter Senior Producer, NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest, Contest Judge

Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf: Bob Boilen and Bobby Carter

Lauren Frihauf first made waves on Season 19 of NBC's "The Voice," and NPR Music's Tiny Desk ‘Top Shelf’ in 2022.

 In 2021, when her promising neo-soul duo project came to a halt before its album, “The Latona EP”, was released, Frihauf found her calendar cleared at a time when most musicians were getting back to touring. Previously putting words to melodies created with collaborators, she was alone, lost, and experiencing the emotional turmoil of entering adulthood after the covid pandemic.

From the beginning, her vocal style has been influenced by Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote, whose records she knows, "inside and out".  As she began her quest to identify who she was as a solo artist, Frihauf shifted her focus from keys to guitar, which she found to be liberating.  Learning to play, “Cactus Tree”, by Joni Mitchell, was pivotal: she became obsessed with open D tuning. 

Frihauf now refers to herself as a "Neo-Folker".  Her music carries an indie singer-songwriter feel, infused with folk and neo-soul elements, creating a captivating and unique sonic landscape. Her songwriting  delves into personal and authentic themes that resonate deeply with listeners. 

She has assembled  band of highly skilled musicians, all with a background in jazz: Alec Wenzel, guitar, Callum Bair on bass, and Braxton Kahn on drums and percussion. Frihauf's urban vibe stands in stark contrast to the rural farm where she was born and raised, adding an intriguing dimension to her artistry. 

"Fragments of a Stranger", released into the world January 26th, marked the beginning of an outpouring of unique lyrics and melodies, which provided catharsis for the struggling young artist.  "Shadows in the Soul Machine",  her debut 8-song album, will follow late this summer. With her magnetic talent, authentic artistry, and promising future, Lauren is undoubtedly an artist to watch as she continues to make waves in the music industry.

Though young, she has dedicated her time cultivating her brilliant talent and it shows. Her music is both unconventional and accessible, a direct line to the soul as it reflects her genuine nature” - Abi Clark, Host

"Influenced", KUVO JAZZ 89.3FM