Laurie Styvers Gemini Girl: The Complete Hush Recordings (Deluxe Edition)
Release Date: February 17, 2023
Label: High Moon
High Moon Records unveils the first-ever anthology from fabled singer-songwriter Laurie Styvers. Gemini Girl: The Complete Hush Recordings augments her two studio LPs with previously unreleased material including demos, alternate versions, and long-lost original songs.
Laurie Styvers may be amongst the lesser-known names within the milieu of 1970s cult singer-songwriters, but anyone who experiences the bewitching innocence on display within her two deeply moving solo albums, Spilt Milk (1971) and The Colorado Kid (1973), will surely fall in love with this enigmatic figure. Born in Texas, Styvers was a student at the American School in London when she joined the legendary 1960s psych-folk outfit, Justine, guesting on their eponymous 1970 debut LP before heading back to the US to attend college in Colorado. She soon returned to the UK, embarking upon a solo career after signing with Hush Productions, founded by legendary producers Shel Talmy (The Kinks, The Who, David Bowie) and Hugh Murphy.
Produced by Murphy (known for his landmark work with Gerry Rafferty, Richard and Linda Thompson, Van Morrison, and more), Styvers’ Hush recordings revealed her as an exceptional songstress with a humble and captivating vocal presence, reminiscent of such iconic artists as Carole King, Karen Carpenter, and Judee Sill. The sumptuous musical backgrounds, arranged by Tom Parker (Apollo 100, New London Chorale) and David Whitaker (Nico, Marianne Faithfull), and featuring the cream of UK session personnel as accompaniment, expertly elevate Styvers’ intimate, haunting songcraft, heightening songs like her iconic debut single, “Beat The Reaper,” with the baroque flavors of early 1970s British pop.
Styvers commuted between London and Colorado while making Spilt Milk and The Colorado Kid, but the relative commercial failure of both albums – as well as a disastrous engagement supporting Emitt Rhodes at Los Angeles’ famed Troubadour – saw her ardor dampen for a music career and hastened her exit from the scene. She sadly faded into obscurity, spending her later years caring for animals before passing away in 1998, her seraphic face and voice somehow frozen in time.
Gemini Girl: The Complete Hush Recordings is the exhaustive document Laurie Styvers’ remarkable body of work has so long demanded. Drawn from original tapes and session reels, the 36-track, newly remastered anthology includes Spilt Milk and The Colorado Kid – both available for the first time in five decades – alongside a full album’s worth of unreleased material, including demos, alternate versions, and previously unheard songs. Discretely moving, intensely melancholic, and rich with Styvers’ unique gift for graceful melodies, this collection now stands as the last word on the intangible magic of this fascinating and mysterious artist. All formats feature optimum fidelity, along with an exclusive 48-page booklet collecting extensive liner notes from Grammy Award-nominated compilation producer Alec Palao alongside lavish artwork, a bounty of never-before-seen photos, memorabilia, and more.
“The best part of Laurie Styvers is her sweet and humble voice,” Palao writes, “and the fine music that surrounds it, and no statute of limitations exists for such things. They reference an era long passed, when a genuine innocent could put words on paper, voice to tape, lay some simple, heartfelt cards on the table, and share it all with the world, with none of the irony and cynicism that now engulf popular music. Laurie’s gift is in a better place for that.”