Lail Arad, one of our new favorite singer-songwriters, is a London-based gal who sings lovely-folky songs with funny names like "Everyone Is Moving to Berlin" (listen to it here) and "The Pay You Have to Price." She first came to our attention through her dad, the legendary designer/artist/architect Ron Arad, an old friend of PAPER editor Kim Hastreiter, and we are newly obsessed. Her debut album Someone New is out this month, and she'll be regaling us with her tales from the road here on PAPERMAG.com. Here's her second installment.

Grenoble was lovely. A big bowl of The Alps serving up sunny students and snowy skiers. It was the perfect stepping stone between off-the-map Riorges, where we'd come from, and place-to-be-Paris, where we were next headed. This tour I'm on is called Les Femmes S'en Melent (The Women Take Part), a yearly touring festival celebrating independent female music. We've been playing with bands from Vienna, from Canada... alt-folk, hard-rock... mixing and clashing as we cross France.  The lighting lady at the venue in Grenoble offered me to choose from a selection of Hello-Kittyesque necklaces she'd made. I got away with a plastic Mary Antoinette (I hope she forgives me if I remove the second pendant, a pink piece of "let them eat" cake). I met so many funny characters I'll probably never meet again.

Another singer-songwriter I was touring with recently coined the expression 'Hurry up and wait' -- amusingly accurate. You rush to arrive on time, you're rushed through soundcheck, you only have "five minutes left," but we haven't even tested the kazoo! And then you have to wait hours before the show. Same in every city. And then when you're not touring, you rush to record an album, you're rushed to finish it on time,"OK! mixed and mastered!" and then you wait a year before it's released.  It's a common thing to be touring songs that aren't new anymore, but I'm finding that playing to new people each night keeps them fresh. Travel keeps everything fresh... it's that mode you slip into, when you start noticing details, sounds, colurs, and your thoughts start to wander...

Paris was big. Le Divan Du Monde. For the first time I understood why you might need the little towel placed by the water bottle next to your microphone... those stage lights are hot things, and we sure worked up a sweat. I tried to do all my stage-banter in French (that's enough to get me sweating) -- it was actually a better idea than I realized, as even when I said the most boring things people found it hilarious! And for the first time I saw a French audience singing along to my English lyrics. Very exciting, and very surreal. A lot of firsts for me, a lot of thoughts spinning round my head. I'll figure it all out at the next stop: Corsica!

***
Lail Arad's Tour Diary, Part I: "The Romance of the Road"