Something Old, Something New is purely a selfish way for me to write about music that I love. Some of it will be the music I heard my parents playing when I was growing up and some of it will be music I discovered on my own but all of it will be music that I need to write about; if only for me to better understand the music and how it makes my own world make sense.
In 2014, singer-songwriter Lenachka released her self-titled EP, produced by Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, Joy Williams, Kris Allen) in Nashville. I remember when I wrote about the EP back in 2014, I was struck by not only Lenachka’s unusual voice but also her atypical songwriting and storytelling. For instance, the opening song ‘Breaking Down’ would suggest a song about falling apart after a break up, but if you listen closely it is so much more.
Listening back to ‘I Want To Love You’, I think the reason I liked it then, and still do now, is because it felt different and still does. It felt like her music wasn’t going down the well-worn channels and the tried and tested emotions of most pop music. Her music is talking about those feelings or experiences, the ones we can never quite put into words, in a way that wasn’t cliché but rather how we actually experience or feel these things – love, heartbreak, confusion, fear and vulnerability.
What was a feeling that only existed in half finished sentences, hand gestures and metaphors, had been written down and put to a melody. Those vague pieces had now fallen into place for me and for the person that this song brought to mind.
“Don’t want to wonder what we shoulda, coulda been/ A perfect fit/ A big mistake/ Doesn’t matter I have to know either way/ I let my heart come undone/ Hold on to me before I turn and run.”
The chorus of ‘I Want To Love You’ exquisitely describes those feelings of wanting to know that other person. Their ins and outs, the parts of themselves that no one else has seen and the longing to explore and traverse the parts of them that you have in you too.
Lenachka also makes the honest confession that most love songs skirt over – show me or tell me how to love you, show me or tell me what you need from me – because there isn’t one blueprint for love no matter how epic.
“I want to love you/ The corners of your heart know one’s been to/ I wanna know you/ Run my fingers down the creases and unfold you/ Lay your armour down/ Tell me or show me how/ I wanna love you.”
‘I Want To Love You’ is a slow build instrumentally and vocally. The opening is soft with Lenachka’s delicate vocals and light ‘Oohs’ over a steady drum, synth and guitar arrangement. As the song reaches its crescendo everything speeds up, the electric guitars, the drums, even Lenachka’s vocals which, though still soft, take on a new urgency and soar as she sings “Lay your armour down/Tell me or show me how”.