With her highly anticipated debut album, LOUDER, (available March 7, 2014), Lea Michele steps into her career as a solo artist with a vocally-driven record—exploring the breadth of her beloved pop voice. In this album, an emotionally charged singer breaks free as she shares her journey up to this point with the world. Offering a raw and intimate look into the Glee star’s perspective on love, loss, and life—LOUDER is built to move and inspire you to keep pushing forward.
“LOUDER really encompasses my experiences over the past year,” says Lea Michele. “There’s a lot of emotion but it’s also very encouraging and hopeful. It’s about continuing on and living your life in a way that’s louder, stronger and bolder.”
At just 8 years old, Lea Michele first captivated audiences when she took the stage as "Young Cosette" in Broadway’s Les Misérables. From there, Michele was seen performing alongside Broadway greats including Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell in Ragtime, as well as Alfred Molina and the 20th anniversary cast of Fiddler on the Roof. For the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Spring Awakening, the artist’s portrayal of “Wendla” garnered Michele a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.
Now a household name, Lea Michele can be seen (and heard) on the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe, Grammy, and SAG award-winning Fox television series Glee. Starring as the perfectionist firecracker, “Rachel Berry,” Michele has been nominated for an Emmy, a SAG Award, and multiple Golden Globes for her role on the show. Covering show tunes and chart topping hits, Michele and her cast members have sold 57 million singles and 13.3 million albums worldwide.
In bringing LOUDER to life, the singer spent the last year evolving the sounds of her artistry. She vividly expresses the darkness and light that comes with life, embracing these moments on the album with a positive energy and stirring optimism. Collaborating with many of the distinctive songwriters and producers in pop music such as Sia Furler, Felicia Barton, Anne Preven, Stargate and Christina Perri—LOUDER is a dynamic composition.
The upbeat title track composed by Colin Munroe cues the album’s electric sound as the rich texture of Michele’s empowering voice reverberates throughout the song. Michele explored many lyrics and ideas for working titles, but at the end of the day, she kept coming back to the word, louder, and the motivating quality behind its meaning.
After completing the album in June, Michele revisited the studio to record the moving lead single, “Cannonball,” written by acclaimed singer/songwriter Sia Furler and produced by Stargate. With soaring beats that beautifully underscore the bold message of the song, “Cannonball,” is a song of courage and strength.
The second track on the album, a pop-rock anthem called “On My Way,” is one that encompasses Michele’s feelings when she’s in a relationship. The track reflects on being in love and not caring what anyone thinks in that moment. The song, originally planned to be the record’s first single, exquisitely captures the effervescent spirit the female artist is known for. But every track peels away a new layer in LOUDER. Bringing a darker edge to the album, “Burn with You,” provokes the listener to think about how far they’re willing to go to be with the one they love.
Michele balances the album’s overall pop vibe with haunting ballads in songs like the heartfelt, “Battlefield,” which she also collaborated on with Sia. The song features a raw, live performance of Michele on the album as the singer chose to go with the demo version she recorded in the studio and left untouched.
Whether it’s in the cheerful piano rhythms of “You’re Mine,” or when lovers come up “Empty Handed” in a gorgeous track penned by pop songstress, Christina Perri, Michele gives listeners a full spectrum into how the heart beats.
“A Thousand Needles” offers up the darker side of love. “It’s the hardest track for me to sing, vocally. But at the end of the day, there’s just so much pain and agony that you hear in that song and that is such a part of love sometimes.”
As the record culminates, Michele poetically captures the loss that is universal in love with “If You Say So” and the album’s poignant message comes full circle. LOUDER brings Michele to a unique and exciting place in life—as one of the world’s best-selling artists readying her debut album. “I want to squeeze every bit of life and time out of this record as I can and give people an album that will help them as much as it did me.”
While the album is a strong, contemporary pop record, embracing the sonic architecture of the day, Michele remains true to the voice that’s brought her this far. There’s no auto-tune needed here. “I didn’t want any moment to sound touched or fixed,” says Michele. “That’s the background I come from.” In the end, Michele begins where she started— with a stunning, signature voice that transcends time. Now, she emerges louder, hitting you square in the heart.