Lauran Hibberd, ‘Girlfriend Material’ | Track By Track

Lauran Hibberd guides us through the making of her new, pop punk influenced album ‘Girlfriend Material’ which is out now via Virgin Music.

Lauran Hibberd

I suck at grieving

“This track is the oldest on the record, and kind of became a turning point for me. It came quite quickly after the release of ‘GarageBand superstar’ and was the first time I’d attempted writing about the death of my dad. It wasn’t going to make the record at all, but Aaron Gillespie (Producer/Writer) convinced me it had to. He said ‘you’ll never regret putting a song about your dad on your album, you’ll only regret not doing it’. It really came to life in the studio and we were all weeping on the sofa at the end of it. It quickly became my favourite song and that’s why it HAD to be the first single for me and the first track on this album.”


“This is the albums best kept secret. I really wanted an acoustic lead track, that really paid homage to those early noughties pop/rock songs. This was a latest edition to the album, and as soon as I wrote the first verse I knew it would have a place on there. I came out of a 4 year relationship a few months before this song was written, and this song feels like a scary big microscope on my feelings about it. My favourite lyric is in this track ‘I sat beside you for four years in your car, driving round and round to nowhere very far’. Ouch.”


“‘Mary’ is such a beam on light on this record, and much needed after hearing about my dying dad and long break up. his did actually happen to me by the way, like the story of this song = true. ‘Mary’ popped into my life at a time where I needed her the most, and I think that shows. Written with my friend, I think we’re friends – Dan Swank in Nashville, it quickly became a staple of ‘girlfriend material’. Having Aaron Gillespie drum across this record is crazy, but the energy in this just feels beyond a joke. A good joke. A very good joke.”

90’s Kid

“I was born in the 90’s, late 90’s to be fair – but it still counts. I think having a lifetime worth of events happen to you in under a year is enough to influence you to wanna be a kid again. A big kid, but a kid nonetheless. It’s a lot of fun this track, was to fun to write, fun to record, it’s just a big breath out on this record. Lots of nods to my early influences in the spice girls, a LOT of guitars, and maybe even a singalong? Who knows.”

Happy For You

“This was the first track we recorded, and really set the president. It kind of just solidified the vibe I think. It’s always weird when you record an album, you get there and your like ‘cool, where do we start?’. I knew this would be a good place. Having re written this song 1000 times, I’m so happy I never gave up on it. It’s a real sarcastic, bitter one – but I think I am happy for you. I think if I say it enough times I will eventually mean it.”

Better Than I Was Before

“This was the first song I wrote after that big break up, I was kind of in that phase where I was feeling really in to myself and confident. Like I had no fear of ‘have I made the right decision’, it was like this is where I’m at, get used to it. I wrote this with Aaron, and he asked me how I was feeling about it all and I remember saying ‘I’m actually surprisingly fine, considering I blew up my life last week’ and we kind of ran with that. I am obsessed with the intro riff in this, Aaron killed all of the guitar tones, it really bites. We had so much fun making this record, I loved Aaron’s approach. Nothing was overthought, if it felt right we did it and we moved on.”

Anti Fragile

“I love this song. Not to be confused with Anti Hero. Aaron and I wrote this together in literally an hour, it originally had this huge instrumental crescendo at the end. It’s like all of a sudden we just hit the ‘rock’ button. When it came to actually recording it, we decided it was way more powerful without it. I love to write songs like this, I think it’s so important to crush people on track 7 of a
record. It was one of easiest yes’s across the board of ‘is this song going on the record’?.”

2nd Prettiest Girl (in the world)

“Unfortunate true story, I went on a date with a guy who told me I was the 2nd prettiest girl in the room. This one was so fun to record, a lot of gang vocals, a gang of Lauran’s screaming ‘2nd prettiest girl in the world’. The bitty intro guitar lead has me in a chokehold, it’s so wrong it’s right. This song literally asks you to clap, there’s claps for YOU to clap along to. It’s been one of my
favourites since it was written, and has always been the first track I’ve wanted to show people from the record.”

Girlfriend Material

“The title track! The production feels really different for me on this one, I feel like we really did send it somewhere. We just threw stuff at it, but in a Weezer way – it randomly all fits, the clocks, the glass clinking, it feels like the end of my movie. I love the drum machine so much. It’s a polyester redemption song. Also another of my favourite lyrics ‘I think nu metal is a gateway to heaven’. I loved the idea of calling the album this from early on, I could just see it all straight away and that’s always the best sign.”

Pretty Good For a Bad Day – Feat Alex Gaskarth

“I wrote this song with Alex himself in LA an October ago. This track was actually produced remotely by Suzy Shinn. It was a long one in the making, and there were a lot of moving parts but this one felt the most rewarding when it finally all came together. It’s crazy to have Alex on this track, it felt wrong not to though. Alex and All Time Low have been a huge part of my last 12 months and a big influence over my 26 years. So this was a dream collaboration for me.”

So Romantic

“This song was actually heavily re written whilst we were recording it. It was like a constant, ‘I love that pre chorus but I think we can beat it’, and then we ended up re writing the verses as well. The only original factor was the chorus but even that was tossed and turned around. I loved this process the most, because there was so much energy in the room. It’s like we knew we had something but we also had this faith in ourselves that we knew we could out do it. The solo in this is a personal highlight for me, I’m not the worlds best guitar player, but I’ve always wanted to rip a solo on my own record so apologies for ensuring that happened here. The drums on this track make me want to pass out. I LOVE hahaha.”

Not The Girl You Hoped

“I recorded the album in Nashville, and Aaron sent me back to the air bnb one night with an acoustic and he was like ‘go write something real, go write about how much you go to the toilet or something’. It was a track I didn’t know the album needed. It’s stupidly vulnerable, I remember listening to ‘Heathrow’ by Catfish and the Bottlemen in the studio and referencing that. It’s an
open book. It feels like the perfect ending to ‘Girlfriend Material’. It’s everything I’m afraid to be and
more and that’s what I love about it.”

‘Girlfriend Material’ is out now.

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