Lauren Willow White — aka Lauren Rocket when she is dispensing pop missiles — is an honest-to-goodness native of Los Angeles who has paid her dues, first in the power-pop band Rocket and then as side player for the likes of The Child, Junkie XL and Night Terrors of 1927. She knows well the perils of “swimming with sharks.”
The singer-songwriter’s new single — part of her mission “to try to write about everything but love,” she says — is a defiant, buzzing cry of empowerment directed at those “Sharks.” With synths that have teeth and vocals that change direction faster than a spooked school of fish, the song is her fourth single since embarking on her solo project last year. As she knows well, it’s an undertaking that can be fraught with disappointment.
“This is a magical city, a city I grew up in and a city full of promise, but there’s a dark underbelly that is dirty, relentless and perverse,” Rocket says. “I picture the entertainment industry as being run by these giant ‘sharks’ in suits, always on the prowl for fresh blood: The naive, the innocent the young and impressionable. These sharks do bite, they draw blood, they kill and will discard their prey without regret.
“I felt like turning the tables on those sharks … Hustling and manipulating [them] could perhaps be considered rad retaliation from a female perspective who has constantly felt like she’s swimming in a school of fish, just trying to be seen and heard. However, without giving too much away, I would love for this to be left to one’s own interpretation of what swimming with sharks means to them. It’s a vibe, a feeling and a state of mind. It’s never come easy to me, as I am by nature more of an altruistic dolphin. But I hope this song can show all the dolphins out there that they too can be a shark, when the teeth need to come out.”
“Sharks” is out on Friday.
||| Stream: “Sharks”
||| Also: Stream “Electric City”
||| Previously: “Diamond Nights”