From growing up in Baltimore to her current residence in Los Angeles, Lauren Lakis has lived a life of many adventures: she’s lived all over the world (teaching English in Prague and working as both a stripper and yoga teacher in Tokyo, for example), and has already dipped in to several musical ventures (she was the vocalist in Hobart W Fink, vocalist/keyboardist in Slow Coda, and vocalist/keyboardist/bass programmer in LA Nova). But at the end of the day, her music isn’t about telling the stories of things that happened far away, but rather sharing personal experiences in a way that’s real and unapologetic.

Today, we’re premiering “Lead Us On,” the first single from Lakis’s forthcoming debut album Ferocious. Inspired by a recent personal tragedy, the album takes us through the grieving process in chronological order. Lakis wrote and performed nearly all of the instrumentals on the album, with the exception of drums by AJ Brown and additional guitars by Chris Garcia and Alex Stills. The album was produced, mixed, and mastered by Billy Burker with additional engineering by Chris Kasych (Adele, Phantogram, Cee Lo Green).

With shoegaze-inspired guitars and beats that swell just so, “Lead Us On” sees Lakis surrender to the grief she’s experiencing. It’s a story that anyone who’s struggled through the grieving process can relate to, but the song comes with a sigh of relief: finally, she’s acknowledging what she feels and soon, she’ll begin to feel okay again. Lakis tells Substream about “Lead Us On,” “This song came to me at a time when I had finally become resigned to the idea that perhaps I didn’t know what was best, perhaps I wasn’t right in my opinion, perhaps my partner was indeed smarter than me and knew something that I couldn’t accept. I had been kicking and screaming my way through the grieving process up until that point, and now I could finally lay down my arms and surrender. I spent so much time blaming this other person for messing everything up and destroying our lives, that it seemed like a radical notion to think that maybe he was right in doing so. This song was my way of declaring, ‘If this is what you really want, then I trust you to lead the way, and I will follow…lead us on into the night.’

Ferocious will be released on June 22 via Cavity Search Records. Keep up with Lauren Lakis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.