Back in November, folk-pop artist Lauren Minear released her single 'The Way It Was' and the track is a poignant mark on her country's history as much as it is in her genre of music. 'TWIW' was written by Minear with heavy inspiration from the landmark repeal of Roe versus Wade. It channels some intense feelings around the current political climate and pushes it into a rising, empowering anthem for women.
The track, co-written with and produced by Dan Weeks, opens with a swirling sense of (almost) dysphoria. You ears try and grasp the instrumentals, yet at first it's a little frenetic. It evens out, and whizzing guitar lines recur in the pre-chorus in a cooler, calmer manner. It makes sense, as here, Lauren's velvety tones come in - almost hinting at how she has struggled to grapple with the case but still managed to put her own sleek spin on things to create a narrative song for the better.
Lauren's voice sounds like one of vast experience and emotional maturity. Seemingly beyond her years, it contrasts the hyper electronic tones at times and sounds more at home in the grassroots folk setting, yet the song just works. There's high energy, yet it's well directed.
Recorded at WWW Studios in London and The Cutting Room Studios in New York, NY, “The Way It Was” weaves clever, thought-provoking lyrics over bold, unexpected instrumentation for a high-pace, cathartic listening experience. Minear sings:
"We’ll never stop trying / While women are dying / We come from the earth, love / It’s how you were made"
These motifs come from a key foundation of lived experience, and brain as well as electronic brawn in the song. Minear, herself, is an increasingly renowned folk pop singer-songwriter - as well as a qualified psychotherapist and mother in New York City. The meanings and ideas behind this often-positive sounding song are in no means baseless.
Looking back in the artist's outlook on music, it's instantly noticeable that whatever she produces has to have a valued reason behind it, or a 'why'...
"Know your why. You have to be crystal clear on why you want to make music and release it into the world. (I don't think it can) be that you love making music. It's too hard. There's too much rejection, there's too many other people doing it, too much competition. You need to be crystal clear on why you're doing what you're doing and know that it's bigger than you and your songs."
Minear's heartfelt lyrics, soulful voice, and undeniable wit have captivated audiences at New York City music institutions. Her debut album, 'Invisible Woman', explores themes of identity, love, and loss, magnified by her
experience of being postpartum during the pandemic. “The Way It Was” is the lead single from the forthcoming album (expected Spring 2024) - a colourful exploration of visibility and self-discovery.