We can't print the full name of LOLO's new album, In Loving Memory of When I Gave a S***. But the woman born Lauren Pritchard wants you to know that she does still care –- about some things.
"The meaning of the title is, I grew up in a really small town in Tennessee, and it's sort of the buckle of the Bible Belt," she says. "And I always tried to be a good, sweet little Southern girl, but I wasn't. I wasted a lot of energy trying to be what other people wanted me to be, and I can't be anyone but myself now."
Pritchard's self-reinvention happened early: She relocated to Los Angeles as a teenager, and was just out of high school when she joined the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening. In Loving Memory is her latest release as LOLO, and she joined NPR's Scott Simon to talk about it. Hear more at the audio link.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
I can't actually say the full name of LOLO's new album. It's called In loving Memory Of When I Gave A - well, the word we can't say. But we can play a little of her music for you.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NOT GONNA LET YOU WALK AWAY")
LAUREN PRITCHARD: (Singing) Just be man enough to say you wrong. I don't expect you to change.
SIMON: LOLO is Lauren Pritchard, the American singer-songwriter and actress. She joins us now from New York. Thanks so much for being with us.
SIMON: You've got such a powerful voice. It's beautiful to listen to. So I don't want to make too much of this title, but when was that in your life when you gave a bleep?
PRITCHARD: Well, I mean, here's the - here's the thing about the title that is a little funny. I do actually still really, really, really care a lot. I should probably maybe care less about things my life. Maybe I'd be less stressed or something (laughter). But the meaning of the title is I grew up in a really small town in Tennessee and, you know, it's sort of the buckle of the Bible Belt. And I always tried to be a good, sweet, little Southern girl, but I wasn't. I wasted a lot of energy trying to be what other people wanted me to be, and I can't - I can't be anyone but myself now.
SIMON: I mean, you got - with due respect for Tennessee because we'll get back to your return there later - you got out of there as soon as you could.
PRITCHARD: I did.
SIMON: I mean, almost like within months after your first steps. That's a small exaggeration, but, yeah, you were a teenager, right?
PRITCHARD: I was. I was a junior in high school. I just wanted to do so much with my life, and there was no way I could do it there.
SIMON: Well, how'd you get to Los Angeles?
PRITCHARD: I had a really brave mom. I begged her and begged her and begged her from the time I was actually pretty young. I was, like, 13 and I was like, can I just get out of here? And her sort of thing was like, OK, I want to know that you're going to really, really go the distance and work as hard as you possibly can, and I proved that to her. And then she was like, oh, crap (laughter). Now I have to sort of hold up my end of the bargain.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SHINE")
PRITCHARD: (Singing) Why you waiting on the world for a favor. This is your life. Go ahead and change it. You're the brightest start in the sky, but no one's going to know if you never shine.
SIMON: When you were writing songs as a kid at 14-15, what did - what kind of songs did you write?
PRITCHARD: You know, I grew up growing up in church and a lot of the early songs I wrote I was always very conflicted about the female role in the Bible (laughter). I was always like, this does not seem very fair to me (laughter). I always had a really big problem with how much they blamed the apple thing on Eve. It really, really, really, really wound me up, and I wrote a whole bunch of songs about that (laughter).
SIMON: Yeah, Adam does kind of slip responsibility for that one, doesn't he?
PRITCHARD: He really does. He really, really does.
SIMON: Yeah. Let's listen, if we could, to a track from your new album. This one is "No Time For Lonely."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NO TIME FOR LONELY")
PRITCHARD: (Singing) Pocket full of lemons for my lemonade, dish full of diamonds for my bills, sucking on my Chinese takeaway, doesn't make me lonely. Show me, blow me, got no time for lonely (ph).
Being a touring musician is not the easiest dating situation, if you will, and - at least for me. Well, for all people.
SIMON: Well, Mick Jagger never had any problems.
PRITCHARD: That's true. He seemed to manage. I should maybe take a cue from him. You know, there's a line in the song about Tinder dating and the rapid pace of the dating world as, like, a young 20-something is really, really obnoxious and weird actually with, like, swipe right, swipe left. It's all very odd. And so this song came from me getting to a place where I just kind of owned that part of myself, owned my devotion to my job and to not try and feel lonely about it, even though I've been single for a minute (laughter).
SIMON: Yeah, I mean, you're 28.
SIMON: You got time.
PRITCHARD: Oh, I'm not in a hurry, you know, but it's - but it is interesting because pretty much everyone I grew up with is, like, married with a child at this point. My life is just so, so very different than that.
(SOUNDBITE OF LOLO SONG, "DANDELION")
SIMON: Are there any songs on this album that come from your experience growing up with your interesting course in life?
PRITCHARD: Yeah, actually, there's a song called "Dandelion."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANDELION")
PRITCHARD: (Singing) And I don't have anyone to talk to today. I don't have a reason to wash my hair. I keep on thinking I made a mistake. There's a Mason-Dixon line in the life I made.
I wrote that song the day that I moved home at the beginning of last year. And the last line of the chorus is there's a Mason-Dixon line in the life I've made. And I really do have a giant dividing line in my life, you know, like my quiet, small town country life and my very loud, non-stop New York City life. The thing that I think makes the sort of song somber-ish (ph) is genuine searching to figure out how to just make the line work.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANDELION")
PRITCHARD: (Singing) In the life I've made.
SIMON: LOLO - her new album In Loving Memory Of When I Gave A - I'm going to say it [expletive].
PRITCHARD: (Laughter) Yay.
SIMON: But I suspect they'll bleep it by the time it hits air.
PRITCHARD: Well, I thank you for saying it.
SIMON: But I have to say BJ Leiderman writes our bleeping theme music. You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott bleeping Simon.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE COURTYARD")
PRITCHARD: (Singing) Is going to last forever. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.