The pandemic afforded most musicians the unexpected luxury of downtime – to create, or to take a break from creating. Not so for Lera Lynn, who welcomed her first son just a few months into 2020. Lynn did not stay away from her art for long, though, taking note of her experiences as a new mother and, along with partner (in music and in parenthood) Todd Lombardo, turning her new world into her latest album, Something More Than Love.
An artist who’s long bounced between several genres, Lynn toned down much of her occasional twang in favor of gentler keys and synthesizers on Something More Than Love. Album opener “Illusion” is bathed in synths at the outset before guitar and drums (and even a little bit of steel) as Lynn explores the different kind of love that’s happening to her as her family is expanding – “This one is holding, not grasping/No taking, no asking.” “Black River” combines a tinge of melancholy with straight-up 80s keys to describe a fateful meeting at the water – “I leave it in your hands/And wait for you/To deliver me.”
Lynn and Lombardo’s relationship dates back to an early songwriting session, and the pair continues to work well together – they co-produced the record and provide the bulk of the music. “What Is This Body” has a spareness to it (complemented with subtle cello work from Nat Smith) as Lynn puzzles the changes she’s going through – “Is this body even you/It’s your house, but a stranger’s moved in.” “I’m Your Kamikaze” heads in a completely different direction, ending up as a slice of early 90s pre-pop punk with Lynn on drums and Lombardo stabbing out a fierce guitar line. The title track is a slice of almost feral devotion – “There is no choice to make anymore for me/A clear and straight line is now all I see” – bolstered by strings and a chorus of layered vocals.
But it’s “You Are Not Your Own” that best captures the gulf between pre-birth and parental life. Dialed back and dreamy, the song focuses on Lynn’s vocals as she considers not only what’s just happened – “I grew a man from my rib, and he walks beside me” – but begins to realize the awesome new responsibility she’s taken on – “You’re just a tangle in an epic chain.” As she moves through her new world – “the past lives in my DNA, and it walks beside me” – Lynn grasps that It’s not just about her, Lombardo and their child. It’s also about what comes next.
Song I Can’t Wait to Hear Live: “I’m Your Kamikaze” – Jagged-edged early 90s jangle-punk at its Liz Phair-esque best.
Something More Than Love was co-produced by Lera Lynn and Todd Lombardo. Songs were written by Lynn and Lombardo, with co-writing credits going to Daniel Tashian and Peter Groenwald. Additional musicians on the album include Tashain (Wurlitzer), Ian Fitchuk (drums), Robby Handley (bass), Bennett Dean Lewis (pedal steel), Kai Welch (field recording), Nat Smith (cello, keys), Viktor Krauss (bass) Avery Bright (violin) and Dominic Billett (drums).
Go here to order Something More Than Love (out July 15): https://lera-lynn.merchmadeeasy.com/
Check out tour dates here: https://leralynn.com/tour