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the Souterrain / Press

“The Souterrain’s organic, no frills all-acoustic style features dexterous standup bass and agile acoustic guitar accompanying singer Lauren Norton, whose rich voice is, by turns, sincere and flirtatious. Toss in some bongo-like percussion and you’ve got something of a modern-day beatnik vibe. The band displays sophisticated key changes in “Cornershop,” while “Jenny’s Song” is an upbeat tune with tasty slide guitar filigree and plenty of soul and touch. The next step for this smart, collegiate trio is to treat their music to the quality production is deserves.”

“Aside from the Bob Dylans and Tom Waits of the world, most musical lyrics are not often thought of as poetry. Songwriters like Lauren Norton of Davis the Souterrain are out to reverse that line of thinking. Norton, a Masters student in creative writing at UC Davis, holds nothing back in using her written word as a fourth instrument along with her vocals, Sam Shirleys acoustic guitar and David Sachs upright bass, in creating a tapestry of free-formed folk jazz powered by lyrical impressionism and boldly creative refinement.”

“Poetry, especially poetry like this, belongs in music. This is a creation worthy of Suzanne Vega or Imogen Heap. I feel as if I am witnessing the beginning of something great. This must be recorded and hopefully without studio frippery.”

Judges’ notes for the Dean’s Prize for Artwork and Performance, 2011

“With an extremely smooth and soulful voice, Norton will join Shirley and Sachs for sweet, folk-y songs. “Our set-list looks something like a Greek comedy,” Norton said. “We start off in a slower, more contentious place and by the end of the hour we’re all bopping around and doing cheesy over-the-head hand claps. A lot of our songs start as a kind of sickness. I do most of my songwriting when I’m feeling jilted or unhealthily obsessed with someone.””