Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent

Albums: Lauran Hibberd Garageband Superstar

Lauran Hibberd Garageband Superstar
Rollercoaster; Still Running (5k); Step Mum; Average Joe; Hot Boys; That Was a Joke; Get Some; Garageband Superstar; Hole in the Head; I'm Insecure; Slimming Down; Last Song Ever.

Label: Jango Records

Catalogue Number: B09W7FP5SC

Lauran Hibberd's debut album has been a long-time arriving. Having enjoyed her first Radio 1 hit with Call Shotgun back in 2018, the Isle of Wight native has over 20 singles and 2 EPs already under her belt, as well as a wealth of heavy weight music critics championing her. While biding her time to record the perfect debut album may have been a clever long-term career move, it also means it's arrival at this later stage means there is increased pressure to impress on the heavily-hyped release.

Thankfully Hibberd doesn't attempt to be anything other than the artist she has always been on her debut album. While some may have expected her to push the boundaries of her sound for a more mainstream and commercial sound, the title itself gave away the fact that Hibberd is playing to her own strengths. By beating to the sound of her own drum, she shines brightly in key moments of the 12 track release.

While nearly half the album has already been released in single format, she has interestingly not pre-released all of the album's key moments. Channelling Courtney Barnett on the inspired Average Joe, she showcases her lyrical prowess and playfulness on a song that everyone will be singing before long. This is a song with TikTok written all over it.

Interestingly she collaborates with Wheatus, who for many are deemed a one-hit wonder rather than a five-album collective, on the album's title track. Channelling the pop-punk anthems that defined both Wheatus' epic debut album and the careers of OPM and Alient Ant Farm, this is another unreleased treasure that really deserves single status.

All that being said, it is hard to deny that previous single, the mid-period Avril Lavigne explosion Step Mum is the undeniable star of the show.

Overall Garageband Superstar establishes Lauran Hibberd as a major player on her own terms. While there are moments where the delivery feels a little copycat of her idols, especially with the Americanisms in her language, these are forgiven for a full out bop of an album.