Lera Lynn is no stranger to collaboration. She’s gained fans on-screen, with her appearances on season two of HBO’s True Detective, and with four previous albums—the last of which, 2018’s Plays Well With Others, found the Nashville-based songwriter dueting with friends like John Paul White, Dylan LeBlanc, and Shovels & Rope. But for her new album, On My Own, Lynn took a different approach: She wrote, sang, produced, and played every instrument on the album completely alone. “It started as an experiment,” says the Texas-born, Georgia-raised Lynn. “I had very limited recording gear and just had inspiration one day for a song and an idea that I wanted to try. It went really well, and that led to another one.”
And then another. And another. The result? Ten songs that showcase Lynn’s instrumental range and vivid lyricism, which can drift between dark imagery and forward-looking optimism. “This record, for me, was really about taking control of my destiny,” she says. “Previously I’d worked with a lot of different producers and writers, but I ultimately felt like I couldn’t solicit someone else’s help to find my identity in this record—that I really needed to dig deep and figure it out for myself.” Self-acceptance, both in times of strength and moments of weakness, emerges as a theme throughout the album. “There’s a song that plays for you, can’t you see? You wrote the music, you sing the melody,” echoes the swirly, upbeat chorus on the standout track “Are You Listening.” On “What I’m Looking For,” Lynn’s vocal versatility is on full display as she drifts from floaty, ethereal opening lines to grand high notes. The lyrics, too, capture a particular duality as the narrator journeys on, confidently searching for her place despite uncertainties. ”I want to go,” she sings. “I just haven’t found the right way home.”
Lynn may have created On My Own to find her own voice, but she hopes others can see themselves in her work, too. “The other really important thing that I hope to communicate with this record is that women can do all of this stuff on their own,” Lynn says. “I’ve seen the dynamic shift in a big way relating to women’s roles in music, behind the scenes on the technical and engineering side of things and also in songwriting. I hope that other women who might be thinking about making a record in this way will see this record come to life and find the inspiration to do the same.”
Listen to On My Own below. The album will be released this Friday, October 23, and is available for preorder now.