Musician Laini Marenick leaves her job as a therapist to record her first LP, Wandering, with Laini and the Wildfire.
Laini Marenick’s life has long been filled with song, but for a stretch there, the siren from Seymour, Connecticut, took a step back from music to devote her days to remediating children with severe emotional and behavioral issues. For 10 intense years, Marenick questioned whether she should have abandoned performing. So, in August, after much deliberation, Marenick made a monumental decision.
“There was this creative part of me I wasn’t nurturing,” Marenick says. “So, I left my job as a therapist after working at the same place for almost seven years. I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was. It has not been an easy road.”
Not surprisingly, that conflict between caregiver and creative factors into a majority of the songs on Wandering, the debut full-length from Marenick’s piano-driven pop band, Laini and the Wildfire. “The whole album was really inspired by this journey I’ve been on,” Marenick says. “I am reflecting a lot on things I regret, like not doing this sooner. I think that there are a lot of people who have a fear of change, and that’s a big theme on the album.”
Marenick—a pianist since the age of 12—fronts the band, which is bolstered by the elite bass playing of her husband, Shelton native Mark Marenick, and the addictive drumming of Rob Siraco, also from Shelton but a current resident of Southbury. “We have had a really great reception,” Marenick says. “People seem to like what we’re doing, because I believe what we create is different than what anyone else is doing.”
Of course, growing up in Shelton and living in New England has had a profound impact on Marenick’s artistic endeavors. “I think that for a lot of writers, they take influence from the seasons and the weather and the atmosphere,” she explains. “Because I am from this region, it really is inflected into the songs a bit.”
Marenick says Laini and the Wildfire will always be a Connecticut band, because there’s no place they’d rather be. “It’s funny, because we went out to visit a friend in California recently, and it is so beautiful out there, but I don’t know,” starts Marenick. “I thought I would really like it but, my heart belongs to New England. I love the seasons, and this area just has so much charm and history. I think that other places don’t really have that same kind of history we’re fortunate to have up here.”
She adds: “Besides, I don’t think I could live anywhere else for the pizza alone.”
Want to hear what Marenick is listening to when she’s not performing? Check out our Take a Listen Spotify Channel to hear her playlist. While you’re there, check out the playlists from other musicians we’ve featured.