M. Lockwood Porter Hopes Together We Find Our Way with “What We’ve Lost”

Songs not originally an ideal fit for a larger project with a more straightforward theme or style, are the perfect accompaniment for a world that itself currently feels like a mismatched collage of moments, objects, actions, and emotions. Lucky for everyone who’s craving new music while also doing their best to get through the everyday blur, Oklahoma’s M. Lockwood Porter has a new song fit for this time running on odds and ends.

Premiering today on American Songwriter, “What We’ve Lost” comes about a year after the release of Porter’s latest album, Communion in Ashes. For those wondering where the single came from and why now, according to Porter, it just didn’t mesh with the rest of the LP, rendering it unreleased until today.

“’What We’ve Lost’ was a fun song to work on during the sessions for my last record Communion In The Ashes but, it didn’t quite fit with the flow of the album,” says Porter.

Initially, a general impression of the sound and energy coming from “What We’ve Lost” doesn’t leave the stand alone track appearing all that out of place from the rest of the heartland-style folk rock that pervades through Communion in Ashes, since at least a few songs from the proper LP are similarly uptempo, dynamically emphatic, and drum beat-driven. Nevertheless, perhaps the song was always meant to arrive at this specific moment, as Porter gets to deliver its lyrical narrative and associated mentality right when the global community is at a vital crossroad:

“A big theme of this song – and all of Communion in Ashes really – is the need to rebuild a commitment to the ideas of community, interdependence, and social solidarity in order to solve the big problems we face as a society,” says Porter.

“I was mostly thinking about climate change when writing the album,” he continues.

“But the coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately, illustrates this need as well. In order to stop the spread of the virus and address the cases that exist, we need to cooperate and think about how to protect and care for people we may not even know. It inherently contradicts the market-based logic that things will work themselves out if everyone acts in their own self-interest. And we can see how the short-sightedness of our systems, as well as the greed and self-interest of many of our leaders, has made the pandemic worse. [“What We’ve Lost”] is somewhat dark but, there’s also a sense of hope that we can get our act together. And I also get a similar sense of hope from seeing so many people’s desire to help in whatever way they can right now,” says Porter.

There’s a deadness in my neighbors’ eyes | But it hides a spark that never truly dies | There is music on the wind | I hear it in the voices of my friends | One day this dark is gonna end

M. Lockwood Porter is releasing “What We’ve Lost” exclusively through Bandcamp for two weeks. The proceeds will be donated to Feeding America’s COVID-19 fund. Additionally Porter’s label, Black Mesa Records, will be matching the donation.

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