Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs star in the new romantic comedy, Life Partners, about the platonic and adorably sweet friendship between Paige, a straight and successful lawyer, and Sasha, a gay, “still figuring it out” receptionist trying to follow her musical ambitions.
In 2008, at the height of her Gossip Girl fame, Leighton Meester signed a major-label recording contract with Universal Republic Records, and began work on club-friendly pop tracks, collaborating with the likes of Lil Wayne, Robin Thicke and Clinton Sparks. “At every turn I wasn’t one-hundred percent convinced that I was happy doing that,” she now says looking back. Those recording sessions? They resulted in a handful of singles, no album and and, eventually, an amicable split with her label. “That music is fun for certain times,” Meester says, “but It didn’t feel right to me.” Despite the lack of return, the experience, for Meester, makes the fact that she’s now about to release the album she always envisioned that much sweeter. “It feels so personal and so real for me,” the 28-year-old says proudly of Heartstrings, her debut album, that with its blend of folk, Americana and singer-songwriter vibes closely resembles her singing work on the 2010 filmCountry Strong.
Recording for the album, which you can exclusively stream in full below and is set to be released next week via her own Hotly Wanting Records, got underway early last year when Meester linked up with its producer, Jeff Trot. All of the tracks were recorded with a live band, and the whole vibe of the album, Meester says, felt positive from the outset.
“It really represents me,” she explains of Heartstrings. “It’s sensitive, it’s sort of guarded but also open and vulnerable and triumphant.” Working on the album amid several high-profile acting gigs—most notably a Broadway stage adaptation of Of Mice and Men opposite James Franco this year—proved challenging albeit rewarding for Meester: “You have a life outside of work—barely, but it’s there for me—so there’s plenty of material and inspiration [for my music]. Family, friends, loved ones, relationships, and everything that is happening in real life is a good source of inspiration for anybody who is writing music.”
Having just left rehearsal when she rang up ELLE, Meester is primarily occupied at the moment with getting her live chops down before her album-release gig next Tuesday at LA’s famed Troubadour, a venue where she previously performed in 2011. To that end, there’s been no time, she says, to predict how people might react to the idea of someone best known for her acting making a serious go at the world of music. Frankly, she just wants to invite everyone along for the ride.
“Anybody who has any clue who I am or my name or what I’ve done I’m so happy to bring them over to this and get them to listen to this record,” she says, her voice rising with excitement. “And for people who don’t have any clue about me, that’s great too. Welcome!”
Check the video of Leighton Meester performing “Heartstrings” on VH1’s BMB.
It’s about time media magazine put Leighton as their cover girl! Just today, Leighton finally graces the cover of InStyle magazine, November issue. I know you are excited so am I. Kudos to InStyle for doing so!
FYI, Leighton will be releasing her new album pretty soon and single, ‘Heartstrings’ which is written by Leighton herself and producer Jeff Trot will be out on Oct 28th. In case you missed out, listen to the clip of the song after photos cut. Loving the rhymes <3
1. She’s releasing her debut album: ‘My favourite thing – at least as far as the music goes, and now, actually, with acting, too – is performing live. It’s so fun.’
2. She keeps her wardrobe at a minimal. She has, as she puts it, ‘a core of, like, five things that I wear all the time and know are good.’
3. It’s still a pinch me moment that she got to play Curly’s wife in the Broadway Of Mice & Men revival. ‘Man, I really lucked out, the fact that I could spend six months on this compact, beautiful story that never grows old.’
4. She doesn’t regret making a record with Robin Thicke in 2009. ‘It was fun, but it wasn’t at all me. I guess I can look back and say everything happens because you learn from it and you’re better for it.’
5. Life is more important than just the work. ‘My values have shifted greatly in terms of what I find important. It’s my family, my friends and having a personal life. Those are the things that need nurturing.
Dana Williams and Leighton Meester cover “Dreams” originally performed by Fleetwood Mac. Percussion by Maxwell Drummey.
Check out the video below of Leigton for her newest campaign “Biotherm”.