By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun
4:56 PM EDT, April 4, 2013
Typically, a singer is excited to discuss the ins and outs of her band's debut album, especially a well-received, highly anticipated one like Secret Mountains' "Rainer." But today, singer Kelly Laughlin announced she left the Baltimore sextet earlier this year, right before "Rainer" was released in late February.
The 21-year-old Laughlin, who graduates from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a degree in printmaking next month, says there were many factors that led to her decision (including the possibility of enrolling in graduate school and the fact that two band members live in New York).
But ultimately, Laughlin's heart was no longer in the band.
"It's something I started doing when I was 16," Laughlin said. "I feel like I'm totally in a different space with aspirations and projections with where I want my career to go."
The band will still play its show at Creative Alliance on April 12. It is still to be determined whether or not the band will play together again after that, she said.
Laughlin says this was not a quick or impulsive decision. She says she first considered leaving in the middle of recording "Rainer" in early 2012. At the time, she says, she was open to seeing how things would go after the record was released, but Laughlin couldn't shake the feeling of wanting to leave.
"I don't want to lie to anybody," she said. "I don't want to get up on stage and not be fully committed to it. It'd be a disservice not only to the audience but most importantly my band members, who really care about it. If they can find other people as dedicated to the project they're interested in making, then I want them to do that."
Laughlin hopes there's no animosity between members, but admits there is a sense of disappointment throughout the band that this version of Secret Mountains did not work out.
"Everybody is just kind of bummed because we did just put this record out," she said. "I would hope there isn't too much animosity. It's just uncomfortable. Everyone really cares about it. I know they wanted to take this as far as we could go. That was my hope for a long time."
It is unclear whether or not Secret Mountains will continue on (the band was founded by guitarist Jeffrey Silverstein in 2008), and Laughlin says other members are still interested in making music together. But she will not be apart of it.
"I'm very much set in how I feel about it," she said.
Laughlin — who is currently in another Baltimore group, Heavy Friends, with Secret Mountains keyboardist Jake Winstanley — says she will continue to make music in Baltimore.
"This is by no means me removing myself from [this scene]," Laughlin said. "Part of me outgrowing this band is outgrowing the band, not outgrowing music."
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