In October 2019, Laurel Sprengelmeyer — whose musical style has been described as a blend of folk, pop and art rock — released her third studio album, Speed Queen, under her stage name Little Scream.

Dear Leader – Little Scream

From Merge Records: “Delivering her own brand of ambitious, grand-scale indie pop, Little Scream is the stage name of writer, visual artist, and multi-instrumentalist Laurel Sprengelmeyer. Born in Iowa, Sprengelmeyer spent her formative years in the United States before relocating to Canada, where she became a key figure in Montreal’s indie music scene. Rechristening herself ‘Little Scream’ she started writing songs that vacillated between intimate folk and cinematic rock. Her first shows were performed using only a battered Stratotone guitar, a cigarette amp, and a mic on the floor so her feet could serve as percussion. ‘That’s why I always wore high heels. They made the best stomping sounds.'”

Speed Queen offers listeners a reflection on class and poverty in America. The album began as bits of prose written while touring her 2016 release (Cult Following) across North America — observing the slow entropy of the US, reflecting on her own low-income upbringing in a flyover state, and, as she says, “taking it all in from the privileged position of being a new Canadian.”

In his review, Mark Deming calls Speed Queen “a moody but beautifully crafted set of intelligent indie pop melodies matched to vocals that are graceful on first glance but speak of lives teetering on the brink if you’re willing to take a closer look.”

From “Without ever mentioning President Trump by name, she proceeds to sweetly excoriate him for roughly six verses, addressing him instead as ‘Dear Leader’, the moniker normally attached to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. As the music recalls a new wave ballad, Little Scream breathily mentions, ‘Racists who will kill / For their law and order’, ‘Dark money is rising / Like the warming coastal sea’, and says ‘I’m an old fashioned girl / Still believe in democracy.’ There’s a lot more in there, and even though she mentions that love passes every test, it’s the unrelenting anger that really comes through. At least once the listener gets past the very pretty music and pays attention to the lyrics.”

Holly Gordon of CBC Music writes: “Dear Leader is straight to the point, addressing an unspecified leader atop footage of forest fires, riots and protests. The lyric video, created with documentary filmmaker Shannon Walsh, was crowdsourced with submissions from friends around the world, including cameos from the National, Arcade Fire, Superchunk, Holly Miranda and Leif Vollebekk. They each hold up a card with the lyrics, effectively highlighting lines like ‘All those racists who would kill for their law and order / can go ahead and build their walls on every single border.'”

Sprengelmeyer’s goal with the single is pointed: ‘I would like to use the launch of this video to raise awareness about the 1000 Cities initiative — something being spearheaded by musician and environmentalist Becky Foon (pictured in the video) and Jesse Paris Smith,’ she said via press release. ‘It’s a simple concept with a powerful message: If 1,000 cities around the world adopt Paris climate accord standards, the world can still meet its global emissions targets. The idea is not to just sign a petition, but to get involved in supporting and advocating for zero-emissions targets with specific timeline commitments in our own cities and communities. It’s a way of empowering all of us to be part of reversing climate change.'”

Dear Leader

Dear leader
Your perfume smells like
Smoke from the pyre of the peace-bearing dove
A boot stepping on the face of everything I’ve ever loved

Dear leader
Dear leader

Now all those racists who would kill for their law and order
Can go ahead and build their walls on every single border
Build them right between the hands of a mother and daughter
You can fix that little girl up but after you’ve bought her

But it’s only right
That you should choose
Who you accept

And who you refuse
But when the waters rise it’s gonna be you, Miami

Dear leader
Dear leader

And when you go out looking for an ark to get in
You will ask your God but he’ll be busy getting risen
And the rich will be too busy buying all that stock in private prisons
That’s where they’ll send you for talking about socialism

Now Silicon Valley’s prepping for the fall of Capitol Hill
Don’t wanna fight but if we have to we will
Hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill

Dear leader
Dear leader

This is real life now, it’s not a test
As the curtain falls, and the chaos crests
There’s only one thing that’s as strong as death
And love is all, passes every test
Yes love is all that we’ll have left
Yes love will be all that we’ll have left

I’m an old-fashioned girl still believe in Democracy
But we can only choose things that we can see
And the dark money is rising like the warming coastal sea

Dear leader
Dear leader

Now all the bigots of our nation, I’ll greet you with a pink carnation
All the witches in the house, let us say our incantations
Because the new messiah, she’s facing incarceration
Will the ocean Goddess rise to take all the plantations

Is there some history that we aren’t doomed to repeat?
I’ve watched the History Channel and human nature is hard to beat
Some say it’s bad luck, but it’s just the fruit of our dreams
And dear leader, the future is a scream

More info:

Little Scream – Twitter

Little Scream – Facebook

Dearl Leader - Laurel Sprengelmeyer - Little Scream

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#LittleScream #LaurelSprengelmeyer #SpeedQueen #IndieFolkRockPop #MontrealMusic #DearLeader #DonaldTrump #TrumpVirus #TrumpVirusOrg #JoeBiden


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