By Matt Wickstrom
Equipped with a sultry singing voice and a slick electric guitar, Lera Lynn has found herself performing in a variety of settings throughout her career, from large festivals to nightclubs, small listening rooms and even on season 2 of hit HBO show True Detective. Coincidentally, Lynn’s venue preference is also that which her character on the cable TV drama frequented most.
“I really enjoy (smaller) venues,” Lynn said. “It’s difficult to connect to an audience when they’re huge like at a festival and really far away from you. My favorites are with around 200 engaged fans that will talk shit with you in between songs.”
Lucky for Lynn (and Lexingtonians), The Burl, host of her show Thursday night provides that environment.
Despite the show being her second in Lexington in 2017, Lynn has largely stepped away from touring in recent months to focus on writing for her fourth record. The step away from extensive touring, which Lynn had been doing since 2011, was due to the artist wanting to take more time working on the record, adding that in the past writing had come to her almost effortlessly.
“In the past the songs have just happened to me,” Lynn said. “It’s like ‘Oh, I want to write a song. There’s a song. Whew! First in three months.’ and it could take me a year or two to gather enough songs for a record.”
With time opened back up for writing, Lynn is turning to routine to capture her creative outbursts.
“Since I’ve had the time and the luxury to actually focus on writing I’ve been diligent about doing it on a daily basis. I schedule writing sessions for myself, like you would go to any job, show up and do your work. It’s been an interesting process and has led to me having a clearer vision for what I want the record to be rather than all the songs happening to me in whatever or style or time that they want. I feel like I’m really crafting a record.”
Lynn says the past year has been a significant life change for her, leading to much of the material to be on the upcoming record revolving around the events shaping that change.
“The approach has been more focused this go-around. I’ve been really trying to envision a whole record and writing songs that I think will work well together. In the past I think I’ve had the tendency to be lyrically verbose, and I’ve been trying to focus on writing poetically but simply.”
While Lynn has progressed steadily as a songwriter across her first three albums, she says her favorite part of developing a record is the production of the project, something she’s had a hand in on all of her records.
“I can’t help but be involved in all aspects of making a record,” Lynn said. “The production is the framing for the song. In some cases it can make or break a song.”
“Writing is painful, it’s like pulling splinters. Then after it’s like ‘Thank God that’s over’ and now we can start bringing them to life in the studio. I think when you’re entrained in the studio with the music it can really steer everything, and it’s the best feeling.”
Lynn, who’s been demoing her new material throughout the process, hopes to be back in the studio this winter to lay down the album.
“When you’re young and start having success and have nothing to compare it to you kind of feel entitled to it somehow, like you don’t realize how lucky you are that people care about what you’re doing. As I’ve gotten older I’m starting to really appreciate every fan, every interview every show, every opportunity. There’s so much great music out there, so for someone to pay attention to me means a lot.”
An Evening with Lera Lynn at The Burl
When: Thursday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m.
Where: The Burl, 375 Thompson Rd.
Previous coverage: Lera Lynn speaks electric words on ‘Resistor’