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January 2015

SHE isn’t new to having her music critiqued but Indiana admits reading reviews of No Romeo has been difficult.

“To begin with I was just concerned with what the fans thought about it more than anything else,” says 27-year-old Lauren Henson of the album, which is released on Monday.

“And that I was baring my soul with something I’ve been working on for years.

“Then, when the reviews started coming in, I found that really hard. Some of them were really good but some of them weren’t so good and I was like ‘who the hell are you talking about my music!?’”

Despite very positive reviews from the likes of The Guardian and The Observer, for which she should be punching the air, Indiana has been sensitive to any negative feedback, even on Twitter.

“I’ve found it really hard not to come back at people,” she admits.

“It’s been really hard for me to bite my tongue.

“I’m not a volatile person but when people are talking about my livelihood and my passion...”

Both her manager and boyfriend have told her to celebrate the critical acclaim and stop reacting to tweets that wind her up.

“They’ve told me to ‘stop feeding the trolls’ but it’s hard,” she laughs.

The album, released on Monday, is a classy collection of moody, brooding, dark electronic pop that is part-dance music and part-trip-hop.

It follows last year’s No. 14 single Solo Dancing and phenomenal support from Radio 1.

She admits she had battles with the record label about what does and doesn’t go on the album and has had to suffer delays for its release, originally planned for September.

Rather than celebrate its arrival, Indiana is nervous.

“It feels horrible because there’s so much riding on it.

“If it’s a flop I won’t be able to carry on doing it on this path. I will most definitely find another path making music but it’s scary. And I don’t think I envisaged these feelings.”

You get the impression she’s never satisfied.

The Guardian gave No Romeo a 4/5 review describing it as “smart, inventive, thought-provoking pop music”.

And yet...

“It was supposed to be the lead review in the paper,” says the mum-of-two.

“But then Björk’s album got leaked so she took my place and my review never got printed.”

The paper did post the review on its website with a streaming of the full album.

And, despite Radio 1 championing her with interviews, sessions and playlistings (a re-released Solo Dancing recently made the station’s A list), she’s hungry to be played on Capital FM.

“I don’t think Capital like me,” she giggles.

“I think I’m too leftfield for them. Maybe if I have a Top 10 single they’ll play me. Being on that playlist will widen my audience massively.”

Well, at least Durex like her, using her Bound song on their latest ad for Embrace Pleasure Gels.

“They asked to use it and I said OK... actually I asked to see the advert first. It’s not sleazy, so I was happy for them to use it.”

She adds: “And apparently Solo Dancing was on Hollyoaks the other night, while someone was stripping.”

There’s a theme developing. Acclaimed journalist and writer Caitlin Moran tweeted her approval of the album using a phrase that’s not printable in a family newspaper.

“I’m getting quite a name for myself,” laughs Indiana, who lives in Long Eaton.

“I really tried not to be a anything like that.”

This week it was announced that at the end of her next UK tour she’ll be playing the main stage at Rock City, the only female Nottingham artist ever to do that.

“That’s so cool,” she says.

“I’m most excited about having my name above the door. I don’t think I’ve ever had that before. It’s the little things that keep me going,” she laughs, adding that it will be a Nottingham artist supporting her – she’ll be rifling through Soundcloud to find one.

It was through social media that Indiana got her break, posting her version of Gabriel by Grammy-nominated songwriter John Beck on YouTube, prompting him to get in touch.

Boyfriend James Alexander, who she met in Loughborough, where she grew up, encouraged her to apply for the Future Sound of Nottingham competition in 2012, leading to her very first gig in the Old Market Square as part of the semi-final.

Three years on and there’s been the major label deal, Radio 1 support, major festival dates, sold out tours, singing for the Queen and the Top 20 single.

And there’s baby Etta, now 17 months old, sister to six-year-old Harvey.

This week she’s been signing copies of the album at home.

“Harvey asked me: ‘Mummy, are you going to hand these out to people? Will you be sad if nobody wants one?”, she laughs.

“Then he said: ‘Don’t worry mummy, I’ll have one.’ I could have cried.”

Indiana will have a launch party for the album at Oslo in London tonight then at Rough Trade in Broad Street on Monday where she’ll play a short set from 7pm. Details at
Tickets for her date at Rock City on Friday, May 29 are £12.50, call 0845 413 4444 or go to

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