Lori McKenna, the Massachuetts-based songwriter whose crisp portraits and emotionally coring performances returns with “When You’re My Age.” Yearbook and class ring manufacturer Jostens has embraced the first track from McKenna’s track the official song for the Class of 2020. The song is the first from McKenna’s eagerly anticipated July 24 release The Balladeer.
Over a small town church piano, McKenna’s sunshine and dust voice offers, “When you’re my age, I hope the world is kinder/ than it seems to be right now…and I hope the front page isn’t just a reminder of how we keep letting each other down.”
A cello swells on the Dave Cobb-produced track as McKenna weighs the differences between what teenagers should be experiencing and what they are. Musing on the first pre-chorus, “When I was your age, things didn’t seem to be this hard…” and on the second, “I didn’t worry like I think you do, back when innocence was something you could hold on to…”
Drawing on “I Hope You Dance” and its wish for wonder, joy and humility, McKenna honors the truth of how aggressive the world can feel in these uncertain times. As she explains her own feelings in the accompanying materials, “As a songwriter, but even more as a mom of a high school senior, I’m so honored to offer up a song for the Class of 2020…It’s an unprecedented time, and these graduates deserve the best celebration possible.”
With three songs, including this one, co-written with her Love Junkies comrades Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose, McKenna’s The Balladeer builds on her critically acclaimed singer/songwriter career. After 2018’s The Tree was nominated for Album of the Year at the Americana Music Awards, she wrote the rest of this album on her own.
Always highly aware of the human condition, the first woman to win back-to-back Country Music Association Song of the Year Awards’s way of creating small moments in everyone’s life have seen Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town and early champions Faith Hill and Tim McGraw seek her songs. She also received her “Always Remember Us This Way” for the Academy Award-winning A Star Is Born.”