AE caught up with Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, La Mer. If you aren’t familiar with the ingénue, La Mer aka Meredith Claire, grew up in the theater, became a world traveler and spent hours in the dark filling diaries with secret songs and deep sea mysteries that would later determine her destiny. She spent time living in Spain before moving to New York where she performed in local venues, rocked underground warehouses, hidden elevator shafts and indie theatres.
After 2 years on the road, La Mer lost a friend in a horrible accident; this incident set a bonfire to who she thought she was. From deep loss, she found love and moved to the top floor of a brownstone in the jungles of Bedsuy, Brooklyn to study the masters of songwriting, find her voice and write a record. Tired of being a fish out of water, La Mer moved home to California and is currently collaborating with Grammy Award winning producer and engineer, Andy Kravitz while embracing the waves and enjoying life as a gritty hula girl in Venice Beach.
AE: You recently moved from NY back to your hometown of LA, has this move had an affect on the music you’re creating?
La Mer: Most definitely. Living in NY helped me realize what a true Cali girl I am. I live about a 10 minute walk from the beach in Venice. I smell salt in the air when I wake up, walk out my door to palm trees, crazy looking cacti and cute little beach houses with funky people living inside them. Feeling inspired by my surroundings makes it easy to create from a genuine and open place.
Also, I tend to move really fast and push hard, part of the reason I was so drawn to NYC! The rhythm and flow of LA brings out the softer parts of my personality. I am just now realizing how my femininity brings out my strength; I really enjoy creating music from this place. Plus, getting caught in LA traffic helps me learn more cover songs, I love rocking out in the car!
Living in NYC has allowed me to return to LA with an entirely fresh perspective. Venice is brimming with the most amazing people, its currently going through a renaissance, everything is igniting all over the community and I feel like I am part of it, it’s incredible to be here!
AE: What are your 5 biggest loves about LA?
1. Golden hour before the sun sets
2. The old cinemas with red velvet seats, especially the silent movie theater on Fairfax,
3. Venice Beach
4. Driving through the canyons, especially Topanga and Laurel
5. Fresh berries for sale on the side of the road
AE: What do you miss about NY?
1. My friends
2. The Public Theater
3. Central Park
4. The beginning of Spring
5. Deli’s on almost every corner that sell flowers 24/7
6. Taim, the best Falafel in the world.
AE: What inspires your fashion choices?
My mood, the weather, the event I’m attending, if I feel like playing dress up or just falling back on my urban cali flower girl getups. There are certain articles of clothing that bring out specific parts of my personality. If I’m feeling playful I add a little sparkle like lace gloves, fairy dust around my eyes. If I’m ready for mischief I find an outfit that brings out the feline parts of my personality.
AE: From your observations, what defines NY fashion vs. LA fashion?
La Mer: LA’s fashion exudes comfort, you can rock a pair of cute jeans and a soft cotton tee with heels and it works. NY is currently going through a bit of a lumberjack phase, especially in Brooklyn and to be honest I don’t really get it. Lumberjack phase aside, I would say NY fashion remains more chic; it’s closer to Paris and Milan, connected to hi-end fashion and glamor, it’s a bit more shiny leather, a bit more tucked in and buttoned up, still sexy!
LA is just more relaxed in it’s fashion sense, it’s a reflection of its culture and surroundings… warmer and loser, more room to breath. NY is shiny black leather, LA is vintage tan suede
AE: Who have been your biggest musical inspirations?
La Mer: Dusty Springfield, Beck, Nancy Sinatra, Inara George (Bird and the Bee), Sia, Johnny Cash, Damon Albarn, Bradley Noel, Leonard Cohen, David Byrne, The Doors, Carole King, James Taylor, Shirley Bassey, The Cardigans, Wilco, Nina Simone, Zap Mama, Black Keys, Jolie Holland, Lykke Li, Beach House, Feist, most recently The Janks out here in LA, Foster the People, Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Serge Gainsbourg, Eartha Kitt, Air, Neko Case.