Traveling the gamut: Lauren Hoffman ends worldwide search

music-laurenhoffmanLocal singer-songwriter has found her calling–- with motherhood.

Singer-songwriter Lauren Hoffman has long been a traveler – with trips to India, a burgeoning fan base in France, a strategic career move to Brooklyn, and now an album recorded in Israel. But all that's changed now that she's had a baby and come home.

"I'm really happy about being a mom and being in Charlottesville and being settled down," Hoffman says. "There's not much that will tempt me away from that."

Hoffman's own lineage involves music, as her father Ross taught Dave Matthews to write songs; and not long after Matthews shot to fame, Hoffman signed with Virgin Records for her 1997 debut Megiddo. While she toured to widespread critical acclaim, she eventually parted ways with the label after clashing with its publicity department. Subsequent work was dark and brooding; eventually she hit the road.

"I was about to turn thirty, I was here in C'ville renting a little place, and I felt that I could just stay here and thirty could turn into forty," says the now 32-year-old musician. "I felt like I had one more adventure in me."

Connections she made while traveling in India in turn led her to Israel, where she struck up a productive collaboration with producer Assaf Ayalon for a new album.

"Interplanetary Traveler was an inner journey of finding a genuine way to communicate my own experience of love, in different forms," Hoffman says. "My daughter was born after I wrote those songs. When I was able to connect with those feelings inside myself, she appeared to be the perfect one for me to bestow it on."

"Making this album satisfied my need to go out and promote myself and try to be successful," she continues. "I feel like I'm ready to be a mom, and I have so much to offer her."

That comes at an expense, of course. "The album seems like a natural evolution of her past albums," says longtime friend and manager Gwenn Barringer. "I think that at some point in the future, she might turn back to writing as an outlet for what will probably be an interesting next few years being a mom and musician."

Despite hope from peers that Hoffman won't be able to stay away from the local music scene for long, the new mother insists, for now, that she's content with her leap into domesticity.

"I don't know if there's more music, albums, touring–- right now, I don't think there is," Hoffman says. "My manager probably wouldn't encourage me to say it, but what you can expect to see next from me is running into me at Whole Foods with my kid. I'm going to be fading out here."

Lauren Hoffman releases Interplanetary Traveler on Tuesday, January 12. No release concert is planned.


where's the dad?

Bill, the only 'hatred' going on in this is between two people who are unrelated to Lauren.

As for talent, I have not heard her, and I don' t really plan to anytime soon, so I can make no judgment. I will say that it's one thing to be talented, it's another to really flush out and completely develop that talent. There are no shortcuts in becoming a great artist, and at 32, few people in this day and age are.

I have no ill will for Lauren, or her music, and agree that some folks here have been really rude to her.

I have no idea about the father situation, but it is completely natural for anyone to read an article like this and notice that rather gaping whole in it like I did even before reading any comments.

I have NO idea about this. Never met the lass. But it's worth saying that this is man hating C-Ville and the women uber alles partisans who run this town and its free newspapers have no problem editing out anything involving a father. Their politics demands that fathers have no input or rights whatsoever. Thus, they would be AOK if a woman never even told a man she was pregnant. None of his business until she chooses that it might be. Single women swimming in family money are more likely to do this - as a woman I know has - using a man for his genitalia and DNA contributions, then discarding him altogether. But again, I have NO idea about this case. Maybe the guy was a jerk and simply abandoned her during or just after the pregnancy!

The point is that in this town, and at this paper, such a man would be vilified as a savage criminal - whereas a woman doing the same thing will be afforded the utmost congratulations and "privacy" for doing the same thing.

It's perfectly natural to wonder what lies behind the screen the author put up. You'll never see a similar article around here featuring a man with his new child with no mention of the mother.

Interesting that the recent Ellis Paul interview on this site mentions his daughters as his reason for moving here, but there's no mention of a mother for those children. Yet nobody felt the need to ask prying questions or make snotty remarks about him. Is that because he's a man and therefore has a right to privacy not afforded Ms Hoffman?

I don't know, fdr, I think it says more about the people asking the question. They cannot fathom that there would be an article written about a woman who is a mom and that has artistic pursuits that does not mention the man that made her baby.

Unless she got donated sperm, it is up to the father to step up to the plate and be that child's dad. Regardless, it is neither the author nor the subject of this article's job to inform the readers who he is, what he does, or how much worth as a human being he has.

Frankly, it seems to me that people commenting on this blog may know details about Lauren Hoffman's personal life and are using anonymous internet comments to cause her pain, possibly out of envy for her family's wealth. But that is merely wild speculation.

If Mr. Griffin is a moron that doesn't know music, does that mean that anyone that agrees that Ms. Hoffman is a "marginally talented singer with highly produced work" is a moron too?

I find her voice somewhat weak and tuneless, in that she sings off key and without any strength in her vocal timbre. Her lyrics are uninspired. But there is no question that the production value of her recordings is very high.

The only one "sniping" is informer, frankly. Sounds like Mr. Griffin is delivering some truth to me. Why does that elicit such an angry response?

Well fdr, you certainly picked that nit very nicely. You're right-- the tone of the two articles is a TINY bit different, and that is oh so germane. Definitely worthy of a bunch of rude prying comments.

Seriously, get a hobby.

comment deleted by moderator

@confused easily and Kenai-- you must be about two of the rudest people I've encountered in C'ville. What is your problem?

You haters and sarcastic blog'sturbators are pathetic. Anyone who has followed Lauren related immediately to this article and its subject. We've all known of her pregnancy, travels beforehand and baby birth, but wanted more - this article gave that to us.

To hell with you lazy people who would rather spend your time posting than researching her or better - how about actually listening.

Lauren is a great talent and a great friend. I hope she and her daughter don't have to directly endure the hatred I've read about here.

Bill, there isn't much hatred if any here. Some people like the article and her music, some don't like the article, some don't like her music, some are curious (and maybe too much so) about the way the article is written concerning her travels, baby and yet no mention of a father.

However, this isn't hatred.

What a wonderful picture of mom and child, Lauren looks so happy. I wish her all the best, and a long life to enjoy motherhood and song writing, as well.

Alright then, Make That Three-- what's YOUR problem?

Ask your Mom where the baster is. She's the last one that had it.

Bravo to Nancy. You got it right.

Where IS the Dad?? It is a legitimate question. This woman sounds completely confused - about a lot. i see nothing interesting about her at all. Just another 30-something who has accomplished nothing.

Wow people, have a life? Why is it any of your business who, what, or where the dad is? I'm also not seeing enough of anything that might allow someone to judge whether Lauren Hoffman is "confused" or not. "Confused" about what exactly?

CC: I am confused as to whom you are posing your question.

comment deleted by moderator

Lauren is an heiress. Her grandfather is Edgar Bronfman and the source of the money is liquor (Seagram's). Her father owned a record company for a while and perhaps still does. You can look it up online. She is a marginally talented singer with highly produced work and a full-time music hobby.

comment deleted by moderator

That baby is kinda pudgy.

A visit by the snowman? Who the hell is the snowman and what does licky boom boom down mean? Who did Frosty shoot?

A couple of slices of Christian's Pizza - hmmm, delightful
A couple of dips of Chaps Black Raspberry ice cream - hmmm, exquisite
A couple of folks writing on this blog - Umm, tasteless.

It speaks volumes about the authors here that they meet someone releasing art with such inane bile.

Asking if there is a father in the family is an obvious question after how the article is written - extolling travel and having a baby - its a bit of an obvious omission and everyone reading it notices it, just that some of the readers don't care.

Well put, Brom Bones. Thanks for defending the first amendment.

Snow - can you post without plugging the song Informer? A song you didn't even write.

But it was your (one) hit even if you didn't write it.

Lauren is a very talented singer who has worked her way to the top and gotten screwed by record companies the same way others do (see Fiona Apple history online for reference). She might have the financial background to eat week to week, but it's her hard work, constant effort, and good abilities that have made her devoted fan base all over the world. Her current album is a great example of the quality of her work---it's upbeat, fun to listen to, and well done. I'm glad The Hook as done an article on her, she deserves the attention. Perhaps some of the people riding on the Dave Matthews coattails should be criticized more, or would the local hippies be too upset?

1. Lauren Hoffman IS an heiress...lucky for her. Being a heiress doesn't make you evil.

2. She did get signed to her uncle's record company, and she did give a lot of interviews describing herself as an uber-indie artist without ever acknowledging she'd been signed to the company her uncle owned. That rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Even before the recession it was grating. Nowadays, with all the hardship people are enduring, it's really irritating to read another interview where Lauren doesn't acknowledge her good fortune in not having to promote her album, etc.

3. 'Musical Mom' may have found Lauren to be 'gentle and kind,' but Lauren has behaved with a great deal of nastiness to a great many folks locally. Usually that kind of behavior breeds ill-will, and those people are entitled to their experiences and feelings just as much as 'Musical Mom' is.

4. Calling people 'mentally ill' for expressing their opinions just brings you down to their level.

5. She does sing out of tune.

"The arts" are full of dilletantes and becoming one is attractive to people who inherit money enough to enable an idle life. I know nothing of this young woman and only chime in because of all the flaming I see.
An old friend once alluded to one prodigal son as a "cocaine sniffing bum who dabbles in photography". I've known a few local "artistes" whose inherited money enabled them to peddle their paintings and attract sycophants. And Charlottesville does have another indifferent singer and worse than indifferent guitar player who has become a favorite daughter of the arts scene...This Lauren surely couldn't be any worse...

"When I hear someone speak of culture, I reach for my revolver"

OMG, the possibility that Hoffman could be a single mother apparently has all of Charlottesville up in arms. When did Charlottesville 2010 become Buckingham County 1955? This is reading like a page out of the Twilight Zone. But on to the music and promotion (or lack thereof).

I found the video single "Interplanetary Traveler" by Hoffman on YouTube ( and am actually quite impressed. Check it out for yourselves, the video is so well done and incredibly CUTE. That song has now made it to my iPod and I'm thinking about getting the rest of the album.

And: I'll offer up my own critique since we're all being anonymous cowards throwing stones under assumed names here. I wish she had thought more about marketing here! No release concert planned?? Actually saying you'll be "fading out here" in this release article? How could that have seemed like a good promotional thing to say before it came out of her mouth? Ouch.

Maybe the problem with heiresses, or specifically this heiress, is not lack of talent... as Hoffman has loads of it -- again, watch that video. She rather suffers from, predictably, a lack of motivation. If she needed to sell this album to put food on the table and provide for her child, you could be damn sure she'd promote the hell out of it and journey to all ends of the Earth to get it out there and in the hands of other twentysomething women feeling all these same emotions.

Instead, she's so obviously at a very comfortable place in her life... and doesn't try to hide it. She said: "Making this album satisfied my need to go out and promote myself and try to be successful." Really?

Making an album and promoting oneself are not the same thing! Ms. Hoffman made an album, not only a good one but possibly a great one... yet is not adequately pursuing its promotion.

Hoffman is a wonderfully talented musician who seems to have really hit a groove with this album. Yet perhaps as heiresses often do, she comes off as more than a little lazy... and totally unfocused on the project at hand. There is no sense of urgency here and she is snatching this "fading out" defeat from the jaws of the great successes that could have clearly been possible with this album!

Seems not too wise to attack man named "Snow". Now I sense great inconvenience at grocery store and in traffic, followed by many feet of snow and potential power outages in your town. The foolish way of the white man never ceases to baffle me and my tribe.

"Bob Griffin" is a moron, he doesn't know music. He probably said I was a one-hit wonder back when "Informer" (available on iTunes) came out. I had a series of follow-up hits internationally and am living quite comfortably right now.

Don't be a hater because you are resigned to lifetime of internet sniping and limp-wristed masturbatory rage, "Mr. Griffin". Perhaps an informing by the Snow Man will give you some inspiration to spend your time and energy on things that would benefit your lowly, misinformed life.

A licky boom boom down,

Hey Informer: where's the dad?

but it's also odd that so many seemed to be obsessed with the father of her child. nowhere in the article does it say that the dad isn't her husband. nowhere does it say anything about him.

frankly, who's business is it where the dad is? who cares?

This is all terribly disrespectful. Where's the dad? For all any of us know, he's just a normal guy with no desire for spotlight, and has asked her to keep silent about her relationship accordingly.

He could be dead, and it could still be a fresh wound that the writer has shown great respect for by not mentioning.

And as has been said - she could be single! Heaven forbid, right? This is 2010, not 1955. Why would a single mom, especially a singer songwriter single mom, be such a shocking thing?

Griffin is a moron. Lauren's father never ran a record company. And calling someone who has released multiple albums a "hobbyist" is moronic. Like the music or don't, that's totally fine. When my hit single "Informer" went to #1, I thought everyone loved my take on reggae. But I found out just as many people hated the song as loved it.

You put it on now and that dance floor will light up.

A licky boom boom down,

comment deleted by moderator

Snow- I stand corrected. It's her uncle, Edgar Bronfman Jr., who owns the label--Warner Music.

This is the first time that I have ever read comments from the hook. I don't think I ever will again. As a mother and musician it makes me very sad to see such insensitivity and judgement towards someone who you may not even know. I have listened to this album over and over and picked it apart from the tambourine to the bass lines to the quality in her voice, the beauty and emotion that she has put into this has moved me like no other singer songwriter in a while. I love music and have loved it all my life, not for the purpose of becoming famous or well known but simple because it has always been a refuge from all the ugliness in the world, some of which I have read above. This album, to me, is a beautiful comment on many aspects of love and how pure and beautiful it can be if we put all of our differences aside. What an amazing gift to the world lauren, your music is inspiring. For those of you out there so quick to make such harsh comments about someone's art, know this; As an artist, we put so much of ourselves, our hearts and souls into what we create, try to think of the deepest part of yourselves, the most precious thing that you value and image it being torn apart, burned down, raped, murdered right in front of you....imagine....this is what it feels like when your creative process is being commented on so thoughtlessly. I hope that Lauren continues to write and play for herself, for her beautiful little one and for US, all of the people out here who are inspired by her music and the light that it holds. for you folks out there with all the mentally ill comments above.... look into yourselves and ask yourselves how your words will affect people before you write them, words are much worse than you think, they sit in a person forever and eat away at the light that we are born with and that we are meant to project out into the world. Your comments are not productive, only self indulgent rants, hatred that you feel for yourselves, projected onto someone gentle and kind who only seeks to share something beautiful with the world.

Keep it coming! The whole purpose of rant blogs, chalk boards, soap boxes in the park etc. is to let frustrated do-nothings like me blow off steam and not build up pressure to cause commotion.

It has served the country well (no revolutions in 230 years) and served us. Blasting Lauren and her baby here will mean it won't happen where it matters, like rocks through her car window or eggs on her house, or insults in person.

So let the venom spew.

yep, I'd boogie to Informer anytime.

Not so much Lauren.

Nice voice, but I am glad she is focusing on her family and not her music b/c it really doesn't stand out.

The article doesn't make such a big deal about Paul's daughter, just read the intro, "Singer-songwriter Lauren Hoffman has long been a traveler ââ?¬â? with trips to India, a burgeoning fan base in France, a strategic career move to Brooklyn, and now an album recorded in Israel. But all that’s changed now that she’s had a baby and come home.".