People

Shannon Lay

“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. It’s always felt good to do. I love singing with other people, harmonizing is such a beautiful anomaly.” L.A.-based singer/songwriter Shannon Lay credits music as the “saving grace” of her teenage years spent in Redondo Beach, California. “I hated school and was never good at it. Most of all I hated being told what to do in any way. Needless to say there were many years of angst,” says Lay. She started learning the guitar at age 13, and at 17 made the move to L.A. and joined her first band, Facts on File.

“Playing solo was a huge leap and it’s changed my life immensely. It’s so important to do what frightens you most, even when you fall down you get back up so much stronger than before.”

After years spent playing in various bands around the city, secretly writing her own music on the side, Lay played her first solo show in early 2015. Visually, she is captivating on stage. And then you hear her sing: personal, contemplative lyrics accompanying delicate guitar strings one could melt into. Lay’s debut album, All This Life Going Down, released late 2016, follows suit. Stripped of bravado, it is an honest and touching 10-song record that you imagine soundtracking those early hours of a Sunday morning, when the day is still young and you’re reluctant to leave the bed covers.

“The house I live in has a practice space in the backyard, it’s sort of a large shed … I do most of my writing there, or in my very small bedroom surrounded by Simpsons memorabilia.”

2017 will see Lay continue to tour All This Life Going Down, though a follow up album has already been recorded. “I’m so happy to say that I have finished my second record [Living Water] which I’ll be releasing … hopefully before the year is through.” If it’s anything like her debut, audiences can expect a continued exploration of “human behavior, past and present. Trying to wrap my head around death and decisions and the purpose of it all,” explains Lay. “I ended up finding a lot of comfort in the fact that there very well could be absolutely no purpose to any of it, all this life going down and we’re just along for the ride.”

“We are all connected and no one should have to feel alone in any struggle. I’d say ultimately that’s why I released a solo album and why I will continue to make music for as long as possible.”