Lara Ruggles lived an isolated adolescence in rural Arizona. She grew up homeschooled and off the grid and could often be found escaping into the desert hills on horseback at dusk. Loneliness, unrequited love, and the influence of imposing landscapes were central inspirations behind her first songs. Lara sang her first concert in three-part harmony and won her first poetry slam, but that didn’t stop her friends’ parents from asking her, “Are you sure you’ll be prepared for the real world?” so she set off for college with a need to prove herself. Luckily music found ways to keep asking for attention, so Lara summoned the determination to pursue her own kind of success on her own terms. Lara’s music is intensely soulful and unafraid to acknowledge the dark places within the range of the human emotional experience. She engages with her audiences in an unabashedly genuine way, telling raw stories and allowing h er own vulnerability to be a point of connection and empowerment. Lara’s mission is to inspire her audiences to join her in revisioning a culture that recognizes vulnerability as a strength and fearlessly moves toward the feelings of sadness, loneliness, and disconnection that so many of us experience, transforming them through our willingness to fully experience them. In 2011 Lara released her debut EP, Out of an Eggshell, which has received radio airplay on “The Colorado Sound”, 97.3 KBCO’s “Locals Edition”, Tucson’s 91.3 KXCI, and Albuquerque’s KUNM. The song “Don’t Worry” made Lara a finalist in the 2012 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, and more recently Lara won the Face Karaoke Contest and performed with nationally-recognized vocal rock band Face. She has also shared the stage with prepared guitar pioneer Janet Feder and Steven Vidaic of Citizen Cope. In 2013 Lara was a finalist in the Eddie&rsq uo;s Attic open mic in Atlanta and a showcase artist at the Durango Songwriter’s Expo, and ran a successful kickstarter campaign, raising almost $9000 for her debut full-length album. The album is currently being recorded in partnership with grammy-winning producer/engineers Steve Vidaic and Mike Yach and will be released on Immersive Records early next year.