Jens Lekman – The Linden Trees Are Still In Blossom
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Montreal’s (/Tiohtià:ke’s) Le Ren today shared “I Already Love You,” a gently melodic new single off her forthcoming debut album Leftovers, out October 15th via Secretly Canadian. “As I get older, I find myself contemplating motherhood,” Le Ren (née Lauren Spear) explains. “‘I Already Love You’ was written for a possible future.” The song’s accompanying Ali Vanderkruyk-directed video—premiering now at Gorilla vs Bear—features warmhearted snapshots of Spear and her own mother, Dyan, for whom she dedicated the LP’s lead single. “Because ‘I Already Love You’ is a song for a future child, we wanted the echo of ‘Dyan’ to reverberate through the images of this video. The lucidity of their love shines through,” says Vanderkruyk. Leftovers—produced by Chris Cohen and featuring contributions from Buck Meek and Tenci, among others—is now available for pre-order.
“Dyan” earned praise and support from Stereogum, Paste (Best New Songs), Brooklyn Vegan, Consequence (New Sounds playlist), Jeff Tweedy’s Substack, and more. Le Ren has also announced upcoming sold out live performances at POP Montréal on September 24th and September 26th.
With the release of her Secretly Canadian EP Morning & Melancholia in 2020, Le Ren earned comparison to the deft musicianship and sparse, eloquent lyrics of John Prine and Neil Young. On Leftovers, she shows us the vivid depth of her sonic and thematic range, writing with a bold clarity that finds her a home among classic icons like Joni Mitchell, Vashti Bunyan, and Karen Dalton, as well as a new class of folk extraordinaires, such as Adrianne Lenker, Jessica Pratt, and Laura Marling.
Leftovers presents equal parts melancholy, deep love, and levity to lift up the mournful as it stitches together a patchwork of personal songs about different relationships: those we share with mothers, lovers, and friends. Spear created a physical quilt (as pictured above) to mirror the assemblage of stories that comprise her album: a coming-of-age collage that collects over four years of past experiences and finds their present meaning. “When I think of leftovers, I think of things that have been cast aside,” she says. “When they’re picked back up or remembered, they can be repurposed… Leftovers came to mean a collection of feelings and moments of the past that still remain relevant to my present.”
The resulting ten tightly executed tracks are united by the swooning pluck of Le Ren’s guitar and the crystal clear timbre of her voice. In April 2021, she met with Cohen in a rented house in Portland, Oregon, where they had to wait for a neighborhood boy to stop making noise outside before they could record. The album came together much like the patchwork of her quilt, with collaborators Kori Miyanishi, Cedric Noel, Saltwater Hank (Jeremy Pahl), Eliza Niemi, Kaïa Kater, Aaron Goldstein, Buck Meek, and Tenci (Jess Showman) recording their parts separately from across North America.
Le Ren 2021 Live Dates:
09/10-09/12 – Hollowfest – Perth, ON, Canada
09/24 – Rialto Rooftop at POP Montréal – Montreal, QC, Canada
09/26 – Rialto Rooftop at POP Montréal – Montreal, QC, Canada
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