Lauren Mulderrig, the frontwoman of the enlivening indie-rock reggae band Aloha Radio, grew up in the sun-drenched suburbs of Orange County, California. Daughter of a working-class Irish immigrant and a California transplant, she spent her formative years along the legendary Southern California coastlines.
Although Lauren’s home was broken at a young age her spirit was not. Entering her teenage years, Lauren discovered a passion for surfing. “I had finally found a way to connect with the ocean I had been talking to my whole life. Harnessing the immense energy of a wave was immediately addicting and therapeutic… a perfect escape”. It’s no surprise at this same time she began playing guitar and writing songs. Just like far-off tropical weather systems swirling into an unforgiving hurricane, these two events in her adolescent life would forever change her.
Surfing and music became her church. In a world filled with cover songs and karaoke game shows, Lauren knew she was always meant to tell her own story her own way. By the age of 15, she was already recording a full-length album and releasing it on her own record label. Lauren eventually elected for independent study for her senior year of high school in order to tour the country with her acoustic guitar performing the emotionally reflective stories she had written.
Between the surf trips, studio sessions, and wayfaring escapades she found herself surrounded by a family of other musicians and decided to form a band. Inspired by a new landscape of possibilities and a song written in Maui on her first Ukulele when she was just 17, Aloha Radio was born.
Aloha Radio is authentically familiar, using the full-color wheel of southern California’s many sounds, painting a buzzing neon sign of California punk rock reggae, soaked in reverberated foot stomping surf rock while standing on a foundation of ukulele driven anthems and west coast hip-hop rhythms. Aloha Radio is Lauren Mulderrig on lead vocals, ukulele, and guitar; Alex Barnett - Lead guitar and Lap-steel; Andrew Russell - Bass; Chris Hori; Drums
The journey to share Aloha Radio with the world began in 2012. Since their humble beginnings as a local bar act, Aloha Radio has been nominated for an OC Music Award, named Music Connection Magazine’s Top Live Band 2 years in a row, named OC Weekly’s “Next Reggae-Pop-Rock Band to Watch” and made a number of TV Performances. They have toured nationally with Pepper, Tribal Seeds, Grammy-nominated Raging Fyah, Fortunate Youth, Anuhea and The Movement; and have joined the lineup on festivals such as Doheny Days, Reggae on the River and One Love Cali Fest.
On stage the band’s chemistry is palpable. A family of otherwise lost souls intertwined by a love of music, storytelling, and connecting with others all while anxiously searching for somewhere to belong. At the head of it all stands the empowered soul seeking and flirtatious, Lauren Mulderrig. Lauren’s one of kind expression channels a sweet tenor voice reminiscent of the girl rock powered 90’s such as Edie Brickel and Shirly Manson, the punk rock energy of Gwen Stefani and Haley Williams and existential angst of Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis. Together, Aloha Radio crashes the stage with arena-sized chants, high flying jumps, and a contagious electric vivacity.
Originally inspired by lyrical visionaries such as Bob Dylan, Conor Oberst, and Gillian Welch, Lauren found herself in a new home built by the words of Bob Marley and Bradley Nowell. “I have scars on my heart just like them, and there’s something freeing knowing that, that’s what I want others to feel when they hear my words”, she states.
In 2015, Aloha Radio released two full-length albums catching the world up with their struggles, victories, and lessons in love, friendship, and family. A year and a half later in 2017, the band released the 14 track album, Golden State of Mind, a perfect blend of poppy inspirational anthems and heartfelt open letters.
“I needed to focus on the positive things in my life. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the layers we let settle on top of us, but we have the strength to shake the sediment of the past and future off of us so we can enjoy the moment for what it is; that’s what this album is all about, keeping a Golden State of Mind”, Lauren confesses.
Golden State of Mind’s rich soundscape is teeming with a California-Hawaii connection. Recorded at Kona Inn Studios, home to bands such as Pepper and Pennywise, the songs articulate Aloha Radio’s finger on the pulse of present-day indie rock as well as their love for tropical reggae music. The layers of catchy guitar riffs, bass lines and beats, demonstrate the band's songwriting skills and pop sensibility. The album’s modern production, contributed mostly by the band itself features heavy 808’s, warm pads, and unforgettable electronic synth leads, making it a meaningful sonic adventure.
"With the release of Golden State of Mind, local reggae-rock band Aloha Radio has put on display just how much they’ve grown over the last 18 months. Their latest record still contains the group’s signature upbeat poppy tunes behind Lauren Mulderrig’s catchy vocals, but Golden State of Mind also brings layers of depth and complexity that make it appropriate for more than just an extended smoke session or cheap beer-fueled party." - Josh Chesler, OC Weekly
The album opens with the upbeat, beefy bass driven title track - a gospel-inspired reggae reckoning. The heavy-hearted "One Drop At A Time” is a self-medicating downbeat space to find one's breath under a sea of doubt. The cage rattling ukulele manifesto “Break The Ceiling” is trap inspired indie jam that lifts the underdog in all of us onto the shoulders of triumph. “Sipping on Summer” and “Rock Me” splash the album with true to life playful party love songs. “Tune You Out” is a rattling pop punk battle cry begging the listener to turn it up. “My favorite song is ‘This Is Goodbye’, the last on the album,” says Lauren. “It’s one of those deeply personal confessionals about growing up, shedding my skin and discovering who I am meant to be.”