Singer-songwriter Lera Lynn‘s music may be hard to categorize, but that is likely why she appeals to so many.
Born in Houston and based in Nashville, Lynn has avoided labeling her music as merely Americana, folk, and country, arguing that she is instead letting inspiration steer her and “just doing what moves [her] as it comes.” The understated presence and raw talent behind Lynn’s haunting voice, capable of conjuring country legends like Patsy Cline and Conway Twitty, has led some to label her music as “country noir” while she feels “real country” or “authentic country” would be better suited. Lynn’s 2011 debut album, Have You Met Lera Lynn? is an edgy collection of her songs with a convincing country sound that harkens back to the genre’s glory days and has received rave reviews and numerous awards. The song Bobby Baby was named winner of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest and was also voted Best Alternative Country Song in the Independent Music Awards Vox Pop Poll. Following the album’s release, she received the “Best Americana Artist” honors at the Athens’ Flagpole Music Awards.
Lynn’s latest album, The Avenues, features a noteworthy group of players, including guitarist Ben Lewis, bassist Sebastian Steinberg (Fiona Apple, Soul Coughing), keyboardist Jebin Bruni (Fiona Apple, Aimee Mann, Meshell Ndegeocello), and drummer Quinn (Tracy Chapman, eastmountainsouth). Producer Joshua Grange also provided his distinctive touch on guitar, pedal steel, and other instruments. Melodic, atmospheric, and intensely introspective, the material on The Avenues is entirely self-penned and fearlessly personal. While much of the album is about love and death, several of the songs, including “Letters,” “Coming Down,” and “Leave It Up to Me,” are reflections on the musician’s difficult relationship with her alcoholic father, who died when she was in her early 20s. With The Avenues, Lynn has created a mature album that resolutely defies pigeonholing. There is respect and nostalgia for the past while still pushing towards the future as Lynn enjoys struggling to define her sound.
You can check out Lera Lynn’s next show on Thursday, January 22nd at the Cactus Cafe or you can stream her right here at KUTX!
– Jack Anderson