Laura K Balke

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In August 2011, Indiana native Laura K. Balke had just embarked on a series of changes that are still setting her apart from the Midwestern singer/songwriter pack over a year later. Having learned guitar at age 13 and after extensive stints in the coffee-house circuit for years shortly thereafter, Balke quit her day job as a hairstylist last summer and symbolically had her long, beach blonde hair shaved to give a physical manifestation to being a full-time musician, with the whole process filmed and used for her "Not For This" video. This epic sea change has taken Balke's touring schedule to 25 different states since then, spending nearly one-third of the last year just playing shows.

Much like the above choices speak to her character, Balke prides herself on the D.I.Y. nature of her albums, making sure they're packaged in anything but plastic. 2007's Leaving Home, 2009's Souvenirs and last year's Rumors And Legends were all packaged by hand: a handsewn, fabric envelope here or a screenprinted, gatefold jacket there. Rumors specifically stands out as well, as Balke's friends and family pitched in to package each copy inside of a hardbound book. "This was my first foray into visual art," says Balke, "with each song having a corresponding drawing that is made of the lyrics, creating an image that is illustrative of their content."

The songs themselves, packed with nods to classic country, alt-pop and folk, have garnered wide attention in their own right. RecordGeeks.com calls Balke's repertoire "very pretty, dynamic music with a strong female voice as the focal point. Balke's knack for simplicity and emotional climaxes are reminiscent of some of the best Will Oldham records." Slowcoustic.com also says Rumors "might just have the most beautiful packaging of any record I’ve ever seen... There just really aren’t many artists out there who put the care and sweat into the overall craft like Laura does. Her songs are well arranged and beautifully orchestrated and she doesn’t get caught up in trying to be the hip new thing. She just writes really solid songs and finds creative ways to deliver it to her ever-growing audience... I am inspired by how she is always trying something new and refusing to take the easy road. Her passion and determination to be a meaningful artist or die trying is one of my favorite things about her."

{Jim Hanke, Forest Bride PR & Promo} [+]
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Created: 2016-03-08T00:13:49.031Z
Last Modified: 2016-06-02T11:36:11.759Z