Secretly Canadian is proud to introduce their new signing, Le Ren, project of Lauren Spear. The Montreal-based folk artist was introduced to US audiences last year when she opened for Orville Peck on his national tour. Today, they present the video for her label debut, the “timeless, lovesick ballad (Gorilla Vs. Bear) “Love Can’t Be The Only Reason to Stay.”

Love Can’t Be The Only Reason to Stay” is  a compelling waltz with quiet guitar. Le Ren sings with the wry smile of someone who knows real pain, knows there’s surely more to come, but who also knows it doesn’t erase life’s humorous, enduring beauty.  Her voice is rich with a warm texture as she describes a strong love turning into an unhealthy relationship: “I loved you, my darling // You know that it’s true // I loved you till you beat my heart black and blue // But I just can’t stand to be treated that way // No, love can’t be the only reason to stay.” The accompanying video, directed and edited by Ali Vanderkruyk, was shot on film. Flickering black and white clips of Le Ren reflect the track’s simultaneously wise and melancholic tone. 

Listen to “Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay”

With a folk and bluegrass study going back to her early teens, you can hear in Le Ren, the gorgeous folk formalism of Canadian heroes Kate and Anna McGerrigle, or The Holy Trinity of John Prine, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Their curious, deadpan and cosmic approach to life’s most brutal swipes feed Le Ren’s sensibilities, and her own lyrical couplets are as simply put as they are devastating.

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