Young motherhood was an interesting phase for me, having ultimately created… life!—yet otherwise suffering through a creative dry spell. I was filled to the brim with so much love and so many needs yearning for an outlet, for time to share, the words to say. Then, presented with opportunities, I’d come up short—usually on energy. It was a frustrating cycle, one that challenges many artists, even those who are not mothers.

So, what a reflective and inspiring morning I had, chatting with Lalo Hart who, aside from raising two daughters, has recently launched into the creative journey of songwriting, and is being met with much success. It was easy to ascertain, within a few minutes of our first meeting, that it is her openness and honesty, given equally to life’s pain and its beauty, that makes her music and its messages relatable and delectable for her growing audience.

“This all is relatively new,” she says of playing music and performing, even though the hints of songwriting were there since her youth. “Songs would come to me on a hike or something, but I was never trying to catch them. I actually wrote my first song that I released, ‘Mountain Song,’ 12 years ago—that was the first one that I caught.” Words were, at that time, a gift that passed through her and moved on, and what changed that was an introduction to the ukulele.

“I’d always wanted to play an instrument, but didn’t think I could,” Lalo admits. “But the ukulele blew me open. [Songwriting] became possible. I dabbled with it—my husband bought me my own ukulele for my birthday—and one day, I asked him if he wanted to hear a song I wrote a long time ago. It was like a secret life I’d kept inside. I had been terrified of sharing my voice.” But Lalo’s husband was naturally entranced with her unknown gift and encouraged her to continuing leaning into it. “I started playing every day, obsessively, whenever there was a free moment. I had a few other songs I’d made up and started putting music to everything. I was having a blast, and I just loved it.”

Playing music and songwriting became a source of joy and wonder for Lalo, but it was more than just a pastime. It was maybe the thing that most young mothers seek: an outlet of expression and a window into the deeper life of the soul. “For me, the foundation of songwriting is healing and seeking healing or transformation,” she explains. “I have a whole group of songs that tell a story of pain, and they turn around at the end. Like, ‘I thought that was true, but this is what actually is.’ There’s definitely pain, but it’s for healing.”

With such a powerful message to share, Lalo’s songs weren’t something she was going to keep to herself. She and a friend challenged each other to sign-up for a local open mic night, and Lalo found that she had even more to offer than just writing. “I loved it. I stepped beyond the fear and it was exhilarating.”

One step begets another, and Lalo stepped out with courage for her next one, entering one of her songs in the Telluride Troubadour contest. Awarded an alternative finalist spot, Lalo found herself journeying to Telluride just one month ago to perform a song she had submitted purely on faith. On her blog, she wrote, “If I hadn’t leaped and submitted my song to the contest, I wouldn’t be on this adventure right now… each choice steers the direction of our lives. My life has been very exciting the past few months, and it’s because of my choices.” The sentiment is a beautiful juxtaposition for music that deals with life’s pain and the healing process. So often, our circumstances feel like something that has happened to us, whether that be the weariness of a particular life stage, an unfair heartbreak, or a life-changing trauma. Lalo’s music encourages her listeners—and herself—to take charge of life’s momentum. You can’t always choose the outcomes, but you can certainly choose perspective and response.

This fall, Lalo will release a full-length album. In the meantime, you can sample her music online and at local shows. Find links and a schedule of events at or follow along on Instagram at @dreaminglalo.