Yarmouth resident comes home to release CD

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YARMOUTH — Whether she is singing, acting, performing or writing songs, 24-year old Laura Darrell loves entertaining.

Her new EP, “Mad Mad Me,” is a compilation of songs that include folk and pop tunes. She sings all the vocals and is accompanied by piano and stringed instruments.

After graduating from North Yarmouth Academy, Darrell attended the University of Southern California School of Theater, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa scholar and graduated with high honors.

She is a conservatory trained actress, and performed in main stage productions and thesis films at USC and New York University. Darrell played a leading role in the independent film “City of Angers” last year, and booked two more independent features, “That’s What She Said” and “Love and Death in Atlantic City.”

Darrell started recording at age 13, and used her talent to help others, too.

She raised money for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program with a Christmas album and Maine PBS special, and raised money for a Habitat for Humanity house in Yarmouth with an album of musical theater songs.

This album, she said, is different.

“This CD is my first exploration into who I am as a pop, folk artist,” she said. “These are covers and original songs. I wasn’t interested in a cohesive brand, but wanted to offer a plethora of options.”

She said it took more than a year to complete the album because she was busy with off-Broadway shows and her producer, Con Fullam, was busy, too.

“It took a while, but it was fun and a huge musical self-discovery,” she said.

Darrell is starting to experiment with writing songs as well, she said. 

“I have an eclectic sense of music,” she said.  “My main inspiration for this EP was Eva Cassidy. I wanted to put a lot of emotion in it, keep it dramatic with a lot of meaty songs.” 

She said her influences include Norah Jones and Basia, Ingrid Michaelson and other popular folk artists. Her talent may come from her father’s mother. who sang and made recordings “back in the day,” she said.

“Mad, Mad Me” can be purchased digitally on iTunes and CD Baby. Copies are available at Bull Moose stores and at Clayton’s Restaurant and Handy Andy’s in Yarmouth.

Darrell said she plans to be in Maine over the summer, and will hold a CD release party and perform in Portland.

In the meantime, she is busy booking gigs in New York.

“I really prefer whatever I’m doing at the moment,” she said. “I love recording and the intimacy of the studio, but also love getting on stage. With singing, it is important for me to tell a good story.”

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.

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Laura Darrell, a singer, actress and songwriter, released her EP “Mad Mad Me,” a mix of pop and folk tunes. She said she plans to return to the Portland area this summer to perform and hold a CD release party.