Society of Broken Souls writes songs for solidarity

Apr 18, 2017

Iowa songwriting power-duo Society of Broken Souls— comprised of multi-instrumentalists Lauryn Shapter and Dennis James— shares vivid stories against lush musical backdrops on this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend." 

Download the free podcast above to hear the group's raw, fearless songs, as well as the story of their difficult-but-necessary decision to leave their day jobs behind and pursue music full time. IPR Studio One's Ben Kieffer hosts. 

Society of Broken Souls is the Folk Noir songwriting duo of multi-instrumentalists Dennis James and Lauryn Shapter. Performing their own brand of American Roots Music, they write unflinching songs for fearless hearts — songs that confront our shared, raw humanity while celebrating the beautiful mosaic of the human experience. Fiddle, drums, keyboard, and acoustic and electric guitars, in intricately woven and varied arrangements, provide an expansive backdrop for lyrics that showcase weathered characters, tough topics, and quiet beauty. With this wide palette, and by taking turns singing lead and harmony, the pair paint a vast emotional landscape, ranging from the rebellious and jubilant to the introspective and heartfelt. 

While Dennis and Lauryn are deeply rooted in the time-honored tradition of storytelling, their songs move seamlessly from the darkly fictitious to the profoundly personal — meaning they come by their name honestly. With not just a few scars and likely more years behind them than ahead, they each have stared down their own personal demons in order to serve the art form that has never let go of its hold on them, in spite of their best efforts to walk away.