The music business is no place for the meek of heart or timid of spirit. A move from Minnesota to Nashville and a personnel overhaul might have collapsed lesser bands. But Lake and Lyndale didn’t just survive those traumas. They’re thriving, as evidenced by their defiant new single “Still Here.”
Written by singer Channing Marie and guitarist Jonathan Krentz with collaborating songwriter Alyssa Trahan, the song displays the four-piece band’s strengths, all of which act in service of the main theme of perseverance against all obstacles: the rhythm section of bassist Eric Clifford and drummer Tyler Kloewer churn out a propulsive groove; Krentz delivers both acoustic dexterity and a searing electric solo on guitar; and Marie belts out the resilient message: “I watch the flicker and the flame/I stay the same.”
Krentz explains that the Coen Brothers’ anthology film The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs, specifically the segment with Tom Waits as a persistent miner, spurred the creation of “Still Here.” “I remember watching that, and it was just so visually striking, and the plot was so amazing,” Krentz explains. “That was the inspiration for the first lines of the song: ‘I can’t say for certain if there’s any gold left in these hills/Perseverance pays, or so they say, and I pray that it will.’ I think seeing Tom Waits character having to go through everything on his own was something that us as a band could relate to, especially as independent artists. Tackling challenges on your own is a universal topic, and I hope people find a little encourgement when they listen to the song.”
“We’ve been doing the music thing for a long time now and "Still Here" was a reflection of that. We’re still here, we still love it, and we don't see that changing anytime soon.”
Marie explains how the foursome that make up Lake and Lyndale were originally part of a larger collective that splintered at the last minute before their big move to Nashville a few years back. “With the move down here, there was always going to be a rebranding phase. But it actually also opened up a lot of creativity. The four of us are on the same page and share the same vision of who we want to be as artists and what we want to say. There was already a strong connection before the move to Nashville, and then going through a scary scenario like moving just made our bond as friends and a band stronger.”
Krentz says the group seemed to find its identity in the new setting as well. “When we moved to Nashville and started writing music we were not really sure where we would fit in, I think we found out quickly who enjoyed the music we were putting out. I've always been a believer in just putting out the music and letting other people categorize it. We were fortunate to have the Americana world embrace us, and we are honored to be a part of such a timeless genre."
Regardless of how they’re categorized, Lake and Lyndale’s strong songwriting stands out. It’s something that they’ve watched evolve from initial hesitancy into the potency and fearlessness evident in “Still Here.” “Speaking for myself, when I would write songs five or six years ago, there was a lot of second-guessing,” Marie says. “It’s very scary to be vulnerable and put your own story out there, but I have learned to embrace that over the years."