Review: Lera Lynn Examines the Changes and Challenges of Motherhood on the Introspective ‘Something More Than Love’

Lera Lynn
Something More Than Love
(Ruby Range)
3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Videos by American Songwriter

With her pandemic album out of the way (the self-recorded, appropriately titled On My Own in 2020), it was time for art/pop/indie/folk singer/songwriter Lera Lynn to try something different. She didn’t have to look far for inspiration.

The birth of her first child and a bout of postpartum depression that followed was enough of a life transformation. It inspired the already introspective artist to craft eleven songs examining her new motherhood and the psychological, even physical, changes that generated.

This is indie album number six (since her 2001 debut), so the soft-spoken/sung Lynn is experienced at creating music without outside influences. Her cushy, airy voice and laid-back groove are not meant to be blasted over country or even Americana radio but are rather for those who take time to ponder, letting her music seep in.

There has always been a pensive vibe defining Lynn’s style, but it really registers in these songs. The opening “Illusion,” is one of the disc’s most immediate and melodic moments. Its lyrics about committing to a new love with Something spoke to me in a fever dream/ Said go to him, let him in, is a wonderful start.

Things then downshift to a more meditative style. Lynn examines her changing physique in “What Is This Body” (she trills It’s your house but a stranger’s moved in/Parked in your pull-through/And there’s nothing you can do/Is this body even you?) and launches into an unflinching inspection of a life partnership in the title track (There is freedom in my servitude/If I can keep the tiger chained and away from you). The latter features multiple overdubs by musical and life partner Todd Lombardo (keys, synth bass, guitar, string arrangements), who co-produces and also co-writes most of the material

There is plenty to chew on as Lynn finds herself a “Cog in the Machine” (Another day the same routine/I’ve begun to question what it means/Or whether it means anything) and questions her place in the universe (You are not your own/You’re just a tangle in an epic chain) as the music, with its barely there percussion and dreamy guitar, gently bubbles without coming to a boil.

Few tracks instantly jump out, but after multiple spins, it’s easy to get lost in Lynn’s creamy, dreamy approach, her breathy yet compelling voice, and the life-questioning lyrics that define the album’s overall entrancing soundscape.

Photo credit: Alysse Gafkjen / Sacks & Co.

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