Los Angeles’ powerhouse darling Lauren Ruth Ward takes pages from her own book of strength, and Norse mythology, in her stunning visual for “Valhalla.” The bombastic single that has only been blessed through live performances by Ward finally sees an official voice that was well worth the wait. Through numerous residencies and stints away from LA, Ward’s grace and vigorous belts on “Valhalla” continues the artist’s journey of finding heaven in hell.
“Since moving to LA to pursue music, my songwriting has been pulling the trauma out from me. Some of that resurrected trauma is coming from having to make lose/lose decisions to get myself to the peaceful state I am present day. I died many times in my battle of ‘being a straight woman.’ I tried hard and often felt like I was failing at ‘being a woman.’ I hurt myself and others in this personal battle.”
Opening as what just seems as reversing gender roles, Alli Coates’ direction develops into a symbolic battle for Ward and her identity. Coaxing herself on the first lines, Ward’s vivid introspection wraps around bass riffs with ease, as her poker ensemble strays into the stereotypical masculine traits of gambling, drinking, and enjoying live entertainment on call. Ward’s signature raspy vocals seep into the gut-punching chorus, and back to the reversed roles on screen.
Coates captures a moment that echoes Ward’s realization, almost a rebirth through her death, as she enters Valhalla. What has been noted as a hall for those who died in combat, Ward’s momentary break of revision sees blinding symbolism, thanks to the strides of a serpent. Longing psychedelic strums and filtered vocals on the track’s break appease the out of body experience for a peaceful soundscape.
Rejuvenating in the lights of Valhalla, Ward returns once more in life, and assertively asks on the final lines, “How did she do it, how did she do it?”
“Valhalla” was produced by Kristen Laffey and features Madison Paige, Bobby Coyote, Elyse Cizerk, Victoria Ortiz, Brittney Garcia, Ken Schmidt, Sam Teaford, and Michael Q. Schmidt. The single is now on all streaming platforms and will preceded Ward’s sold out single release show at Pappy & Harriet’s alongside Jenny O. and Moon Honey.
Revisit Lauren Ruth Ward’s “All Eyes On” performance and video below: