Lera Lynn isn’t prone to repeating herself. Having moved further away from her countryish beginnings with 2018’s duets album, Plays Well With Others, she followed up with the self-made, and self-explanatory, On My Own. Now she’s shifted into an entirely different dimension with Something More Than Love. Co-produced with her partner Todd Lombardo, it’s an often moving, sometimes troubled, meditation on the joys and trials of new parenthood.
Lynn gave birth to their first son at the start of the pandemic. Adjusting to being a mother while processing the internal and external changes in her life, she began suffering from postnatal depression. All of this played into the songs that took shape at the couple’s home in Nashville. As its title suggests, Something More Than Love pulls deep from her emotional self. Both “Illusion” and “Black River” deal with the euphoria of finding meaningful connection, the latter’s acceptance of fate finding a metaphor in the ceaseless roll of the current it describes.
Lynn ponders sharing her body with a new presence on “Conflict Of Interest” (“Can we both exist/Inside of this new skin/What is your name?”), before declaring her utter devotion on the self-sacrificial title track, her protective genes kicking in: “How could I deny you?/Formula of stardust/You’re a perfect figure”. The full weight and terror of responsibility threatens to drag her under on “Eye In The Sky”, but, ultimately, there’s renewed strength on “Golden Sun” and “I’m Your Kamikaze”.
On a musical level, Lynn imparts these songs with an unhurried grace. And while there’s an agreeable twang to “Black River” and folk-country steel on “In A Moment”, synths form the album’s bedrock. “Illusion” carries echoes of Kacey Musgraves’ transition to propulsive pop (Lombardo is a recent contributor of hers, as are fellow band members Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian), while the exquisite “What Is This Body?” and “Cog In The Machine” present a more abstract and experimental side of Lynn, crowned by her cool, effortlessly agile vocals.