Americana Highways brings you this video premiere of Lynne Hanson’s song “Light in Me. The song “Light in Me” was released on January 27 (Panda Cave Records). It was written by Lynne Hanson; recorded and mixed by Eric Eggleston of Johnny Hall Productions; and mastered by Mauricio Gargel.
Musicians on “Light in Me” are Lynne Hanson on acoustic guitars and vocals, and Blair Michael Hogan on acoustic guitar.
The video was created by Eric Eggleston of Johnny Hall Productions. We had the opportunity to sit down with Lynne Hanson about the song and the video and more. The premiere appears just beneath the interview.
Americana Highways: What prompted you to write this song? What was the inspiration behind it?
Lynne Hanson: I was actually commissioned to write the song by a fan of mine. She wanted to give the song to her friend who was going through a really tough time. She told me that my songs had gotten her through some challenging times, and she wanted to give this as a gift to her friend, who was also a huge fan of my music. I had offered custom songwriting as part of a crowdfunding project for my latest album, Ice Cream In November, which is where she got the idea to hire me to write a song. The inspiration was the background I was given about that individual’s challenges, and my goal was to write a song that would bring her friend back to the light and to rediscover beauty.
AH: How did this song come together when you wrote it? What was the songwriting process like?
LH: It took me about three months to get around to writing the song once I had the initial song prompt. It seemed like every time I sat down to get started, I hit a wall. I think I was really wanting to write something significant for the person who had commissioned the song, and this created a lot of pressure to “hit it out of the park.” In the end, once I got started, it only took me a day to complete it. I was on tour in the United States. It was the first time I’d been back to the US since the pandemic, as the border had been closed to travel for two years. I had a couple of days off in Maryland, and we were staying with a friend. I sat down at the kitchen table and hammered out the first verse and chorus in an afternoon, and finished the song the next day. I think it took all that time for the song to build up in my head, and then once it was ready to be born, it took no time at all to corral onto the page.
AH: Talk to us about the video. Whose idea was it to film a performance clip? Who directed it? Why go with the black-and-white film look?
LH: The video was filmed by Eric Eggleston from Johnny Hall Productions. I’d just finished working with Eric on a video collaboration where we filmed the writing and recording of a song we co-wrote together for a television show. I loved working on that project with Eric, and I felt he had the creativity to capture both the audio and video of an acoustic performance without involving a large crew. The initial idea for the video came from seeing Ed Sheeran’s “Afterglow” performance video, which I absolutely love. I tend to write songs on acoustic guitar, and then the songs get dressed up in the recording studio. While I love the full band version of “Light in Me,” when I recorded the initial demo for the song, I’d worked out a two-guitar arrangement which I also liked. Filming the video gave us a reason to have both versions of the song. Blair Michael Hogan took those early ideas and built a lovely arrangement that really compliments what I’m doing rhythmically and on vocals. This version has a real Gillian Welch/David Rawlings feel to it. It was actually Eric’s idea to film in black and white, as he thought it would better capture the moodiness of the acoustic performance.
AH: What do you hope viewers get from watching this video?
LH: The video is really intimate. Just two guitars and two voices. We even simplified the look by going with black and white. I hope viewers can lose themselves in the sentiment of the song, and appreciate the two-guitar arrangement.
AH: What made you want to release this song as a standalone single?
LH: I’m like a lot of songwriters in that I’m pretty shy about my songwriting. I’m not one to say that a song I’ve written is good. Or even admit that I might really like one of my own songs. But, in this case, I feel like this song is a little special. I love the full studio version of the track that we released in January, but I also felt that this stripped-down, two-guitar,acoustic version was worth putting out there. I’m a huge fan of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and I think this influence is pretty apparent in how we arranged this version of “Light in Me.”
AH: What is coming up next for you?
LH: I’m touring a fair amount these days. I’ve got dates in Europe, the United States, Canada, and the UK in 2023, and we’re even starting to plan for 2024. I’m also writing new material and hoping to record an album in late summer or early fall if I can get all my ducks lined up.
Gentle and alluring, Lynne Hanson’s guitar playing holds your hand while you lay in the grass, watch the clouds drift by, and daydream. Song order/save link: https://ffm.to/rpjnyx3
Enjoy our previous coverage here: REVIEW: Lynne Hanson “Ice Cream In November”