"House of Snow" was produced and arranged by Douglas Jenkins, and recorded in his wife's nursery school in Portland, Oregon. Jenkins is the creative director of the Portland Cello Project "House of Snow" features many of Portland’s finest musicians including Sam Cooper (Horse Feathers), Skip vonKuske (Vagabond Opera), and Jenny Conlee (The Decemberists.)
After listening to the album, Chris Dahlen of Pitchfork and Paste Magazine wrote, “Laurel Brauns writes some of my favorite songs, and the way she sings them makes me shiver. Her new disc is lovely, strong, and haunted, and likely her best yet.”
The album is best classified as indie-folk with elements of neo-classical, organic gothic and earth pop. Water emerges as the most prevalent theme weaving the songs together. The title track House of Snow is a dreamy tale about a float down the Rogue River in Oregon. Doldrums is a depiction of the Great North Pacific Gyre, a swirling patch of plastic suspended in the Pacific Ocean.
Local Bend, Oregon musicians Erin Cole-Baker, Mark Ransom, Patrick Pearsall and Laurel’s sister Katie Brauns lend their voices to the song Doldrums which ends in a chorus crescendo, and guitarist and singer/songwriter Franchot Tone adds his jangly pop style to the last two tracks on the album.
The biggest local contributor was silent however. Kaycee Anseth is the visual artist who was commissioned to do the front cover, and was so inspired by Laurel’s demo of songs, that she created the back cover as well.
Laurel has opened for Loch Lomond, Horse Feathers, and Weinland and collaborated with the Portland Cello Project. She recently had her song North 93 placed in the Fox TV series Traffic Light.