In anticipation of the soon-to-be-released album, Messages from Aphrodite, Lauren Monroe releases “Void of Course” on August 5, 2022. The album, produced by Jim Scott and Monroe, will follow on September 9.
The smoldering “Void of Course,” one of the hardest-hitting tracks on Messages from Aphrodite, is powered by Allmans-style double drumming from Rick Allen (Def Leppard) and Beth Goodfellow (Iron and Wine, Allison Russell) and topped off by Monroe’s urgent vocals. The track derives its Physical Graffiti-like exoticism from the droning of a djembe played by Monroe, further deepened by the bowed cello and upright bass of Steve Uccello (Latin Jazz Collective, Dayan Kai) and lightning-flash guitar riffs of Tyler Bryant (Larkin Poe). These sounds deepen the mood of the astrology-inspired lyric—“void of course” is a term that refers to the moon’s transition away from one planet and toward another, functioning as a metaphor for disconnection.
“This song is an expression of anger, fear, desperation and knowing what can heal you but choosing the opposite,” Monroe says. “A pattern of our soul choosing self-love but not being strong enough to stay the course alone.” One of the most rock-based songs on the album, it offers listeners a different side of Monroe, whose previous offerings have leaned more towards Americana and roots/folk.
Music and healing have always been a focal point in Monroe’s life. Through performance, storytelling, and art, she creates an intimate experience for her audiences, showing them how music can impact healing and growth. Earlier this year, she was by joined Allen, the legendary drummer of Def Leppard and her husband and frequent collaborator, for a run of intimate East Coast club dates during which they also displayed their mixed-media art. The pieces were then auctioned online to benefit Raven Drum Foundation, an organization they founded with the mission to serve, educate and empower veterans dealing with PTSD and combat trauma, people in crisis and other at-risk individuals. And in 2021, she staged the first Big Love Benefit Concert, which featured performances by Billy Idol, Wynonna Judd, and the Allman Betts Band, among others. Proceeds from the event, which brought financial and mental health support to music-industry professionals affected by the pandemic, were donated to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.
Scott – who was at the helm for 2021’s Under the Wolf Moon – reunited with Monroe for Messages from Aphrodite, which she co-produced. “Lauren is a special artist,” he asserts. “She’s tuned in to the spiritual workings of the heart and the mystical nature of the universe. She’s an empath, a healer, a teacher, visual artist, producer and songwriter; I also think she’s a time-traveler. Her songs guide, direct and uplift and are sonically beautiful.”
The songs are enlivened by Scott’s deft sonic sculpting of song-serving performances from musical luminaries such as guitarists Greg Leisz (k.d. lang, Matthew Sweet, Bill Frisell), Brian Whelan (Dwight Yoakam), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Nora Jones, Keith Richards, John Mayer) and David Garza (Fiona Apple, Watkins Family Hour) in addition to the aforementioned Bryant; bassists Bob Glaub (Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon), Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple) and Mai Leisz (David Crosby), keyboardist John Ginty (Neal Casal, the Allman Betts Band); and backing vocalist Tammi Brown (Bobby McFerrin, Quincy Jones). In addition to Allen and Goodfellow, the Heartbreakers’ Steve Ferrone helped anchor the proceedings from behind the drumkit.
An official video for “Void of Course” is coming soon, and Monroe will be touring in support of Messages from Aphrodite this fall. Dates and details can be found at laurenmonroe.com.