Lenka and Greg Laswell
Lenka is an Australian singer and songwriter, known for her song “The Show” from her album Lenka, which was in advertisements, including for Old Navy. Previously known in Australia as an actress, she has appeared in Australian television serials and feature films.
Lenka’s father is a jazz musician who immigrated to Australia from then-Czechoslovakia and an Australian schoolteacher mother. She was born and raised in “the bush”, until age seven when her family moved to Sydney, where she received her schooling and music training, and started work as a musician. As a teenager Lenka studied acting at the Australian Theater For Young People, and trained with actress Cate Blanchett at the school.
As Lenka Kripac, she was a member of the Australian electronic-rock crossover band Decoder Ring for two of their albums until moving to California in 2007. After adopting her first name as her sole artistic name (“Lenka” is a common Slavic girl’s name, and a common diminutive of the Slavic girl’s name “Elena”), Lenka released her eponymous debut album in 2008, with “The Show” chosen to be the first single release from the set. The album peaked at number 142 on the US Billboard 200.
Lenka is known for creating paper art type of stop-motion animated music videos for each of her singles with James Gulliver Hancock, a visual artist from Australia. The childlike appearance to all her music videos is done on purpose by the duo and her vocal stylings are a juxtaposition of pop and layered, complicated influences.
Besides commercials, Lenka’s songs have been heard on shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Hills,” and she has appeared on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “The Tonight Show.”
Greg Laswell is a San Diego-based musician, recording engineer, and producer. He has released four studio albums: Good Movie in 2003, Through Toledo in 2006, and Three Flights from Alto Nido in 2008, and Take a Bow in 2010, as well as several EPs and special singles. Many of his songs have been featured in films and television shows.
Greg Laswell, a Long Beach native, moved to San Diego and attended Point Loma Nazarene University starting in 1993. From 1998 through the early aughts, Laswell was frontman for the San Diego-based band Shillglen. The band released one album, titled Sometimes I Feel, in late 1999 and had some moderate success when the band was nominated for Best Alternative Album and Best Alternative Band at the San Diego Music Awards in 2000. By mid 2001, Shillglen had over 400,000 downloads of their music through MP3.com. However, Shillglen quietly disbanded in October 2001.
Laswell released his first solo album Good Movie in 2003. It was self-funded and self-released on his own label All the Rest Records, and won the award for Best Local Recording by the San Diego Music Awards in 2004. Following the album’s success, Laswell signed to Vanguard Records, and then recorded and released his second studio album Through Toledo in July 2006. The album was written during Laswell’s divorce from his wife; he stated: “It’s basically a breakup album…but the biggest surprise has been when you resurface out of the dark little studio. On this tour, people have been coming up to me and telling me about what they’ve been going through. It has nothing to do with anything that I originally wrote about. So it’s become a full circle, healing thing. I’m just lucky to be in the loop.”
In spring 2008, Laswell joined the European leg of the Hotel Cafe Tour, hosted by Tom McRae. He released an EP titled How the Day Sounds in March 2008, which preceded his third studio album Three Flights from Alto Nido, released in July. Several songs from the album, including “Comes and Goes (In Waves)”, “How the Day Sounds”, “Sweet Dream”, and “And Then You”, have been featured in the television shows Grey’s Anatomy, True Blood, Castle, 90210, Army Wives, and Dollhouse. Laswell’s single “Off I Go” was written specially for the season 5 finale of Grey’s Anatomy. It was also featured on NBC’s “Parenthood”. Laswell also contributed his cover of Cyndi Lauper’s hit “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” to the soundtrack for both Confessions of a Shopaholic in early 2009; and to the soundtrack for “My Sister’s Keeper”, also in 2009.
In October 2009 Laswell released a new EP entitled covers featuring five cover songs. Laswell released a new full album, “Take a Bow” on May 4th, 2010. All 12 new tracks were recorded in a studio in a cabin outside Flagstaff, AZ. “Perhaps the biggest difference with this album”, observes Greg Laswell of his new Take A Bow, “is that I’m not miserable.” Laswell also chimes in on the album stating, “I could not be more excited about how it turned out.”
He has toured with several artists over the years, including his fiance Ingrid Michaelson, Matt Costa, Sia, Tim O’Reagan of The Jayhawks and Amy Millan of Stars. Laswell has also scored several short films, including Longbranch: A Suburban Parable in 2001, and Deacon’s Mondays in 2006.