Laurel Sprengelmeyer (a.k.a. Little Scream) is a rare kind of person to find in music, or wherever really, these days. She carried the songs on her achingly brilliant 2011 debut, The Golden Record, for a decade, keeping them unpublished before she forced herself to get over a painful fear of performing. It wasn’t easy. The process, in retrospect, took following a boyfriend from Iowa to Montreal, starting a new life there and eventually collaborating with members of Arcade Fire and The National, getting excommunicated from her family’s faith and exposure to the very things that scared her most. Now, after a year and change of touring constantly, that fear’s subsided, and the music, fierce and flush with direct emotional intensity, doesn’t give away any of the prior hesitation. But why did Little Scream start performing at all if it was so harrowing?
Well, that answer might also be the reason why any of us listen to music in the first place. According to Sprengelmeyer, music can save lives—certain records have saved hers in hard times. When we interviewed her before the band’s last show of the year, Little Scream opened up about why she wants to be able to give a similar gesture to someone, anyone else, who might give The Golden Record a random listen. For Little Scream, it’s because performing is communicating, and music, among other things, can function as the best existential reassurance there is.
Somehow, the interview below (followed by in-office performances of “Cannons” and “Your Radio”) turned into one of those rare, affirming conversations that’s so uncommon for brief video Q&A’s. Watch after the jump.