Island indie band finds its rhythm and help from a Grammy-winning producer
Lauren Eddy has come a long way since taking $39 guitar lessons each month as a child growing up in Texas City.
Eddy, the frontwoman for Galveston indie rock band El Lago, has always had an affinity for musical instruments.
“I actually started playing music when I was 12,” Eddy, 30, said. “I know my mom tried to sign me up for piano lessons. I must have seen someone playing guitar on TV and I asked her if I could play guitar instead.”
This passion of hers eventually led to the formation of El Lago. Success of the band, which has performed at such events as the In Bloom Music Festival, has much to do with its family roots.
Lauren Eddy’s husband, Charles Eddy, is the drummer and her brother, Jacob Villarreal, plays bass, while friend Jaron Hall is on the guitar.
Because of their connections, collaborating comes fairly smoothly and it makes the process that much richer, Charles Eddy said.
The band treats each other like a family and each member is willing to listen to ideas, Hall said.
“It’s very democratic,” he said. “We are all very open to trying others’ suggestions or playing along with what someone else is playing. Lauren will come with some melodies and chords and we will build off of it together.”
“We’ve only had a meltdown here and there,” Villarreal joked.
But creating the band’s eight-song EP, “Colors,” was not a simple task, Lauren Eddy said. It took a few years to fully flourish, she said.
“Most of the songs were written in 2014, so we’ve had the songs for awhile and we were trying to self-record,” she said. “It takes a lot of skill and patience with each other and the process.”
Regularly performing at venues such as Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge and Walter’s Downtown in Houston and Galveston’s Old Quarter Acoustic Café, the band was able to get the attention of Houston Press critic David Garrick.
Impressed with El Lago, Garrick quickly introduced Lauren Eddy and the band to Grammy-winning producer Steve Christensen at SugarHill Recording Studios in Houston.
“That was how we were introduced to it and we really enjoyed working with them,” she said. “It’s scary to think about dropping a lot of money having never been in the studio and you don’t know how you’re going to do. Everything moved very quickly and felt natural. I think that’s how the record happened.”
The album’s recording and ultimate creation was relaxed and natural because of Christensen’s involvement, Eddy said.
“Steve has been doing it for so long, so he is just very quick and decisive,” she said. “He is very easy to work with as far as his personality.”
The album’s musical influences were never specifically planned nor strategic in nature, Lauren Eddy said.
“We started playing and we didn’t really have influences in mind so much,” she said. “It was just what we came up with in a room together. I know I was listening to a lot of ’80s music and I really like that ’80s vocal style. That was my influence.”
El Lago hopes to perform at more local festivals in Galveston and Houston and spread its music to a wider audience while continuing to create new music, Lauren Eddy said.
“We are working on putting on some regional tours,” she said. “We would like to do a little longer tour to the East Coast. Of course, also writing new songs. We might want to do a music video.”