Song of the Week: “My Least Favorite Life” by Lera Lynn

Before we get into today’s post, the Behaviorists and I would like to take a moment to honor the memory and tragedy of September 11, 2001. Our hearts are with those who lost loved ones on this day fourteen years ago. Our hearts are with the communities, the businesses, and all the lives affected. 

Confession time. I love country music. However, I’m also very picky about what I’ll listen to. For instance, I’m not a fan of pop country. Mostly my tastes line up with the classics like Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, and of course the great Patsy Cline. I’m also big into ’90s country because my mom listened to it nonstop while me and my sibs were growing up, stuff like Reba McEntire, George Strait, and Martina McBride. I don’t have too many modern favorites, but I’m always looking for more artists like Caitlin Rose.

My guilty secret is the country music from NBC’s Nashville. Except I don’t feel guilty and it’s not really a secret. I’m obsessed with the show, and the music is the most addictive part of it.

What makes the music stand out is that T Bone Burnett writes a lot of it. If you haven’t watched it and this isn’t a reference point for you, did you ever see that movie Crazy Heart? What about Inside Llewyn Davis? O, Brother, Where Art Thou? Surely you’ve seen that one! Okay, Walk the Line. Please tell me you’ve seen it.

Well, T Bone Burnett wrote music in all of those films. And that brings us to “My Least Favorite Life” by Lera Lynn. This song first appeared in an episode of True Detective, season 2, and Burnett was the executive music director. I read in a Rolling Stone article that Lynn wasn’t allowed to read the script, and Burnett gave her an album by 1930s and ’40s Tejano star Lydia Mendoza, telling Lynn to write songs using that as her inspiration. I’ve never watched the show, but after reading that article, I wanted to check her out.

This song blows me away. It carries so much emotion, in the lyrics, in the style, and in her voice.

Her voice gives me chills. The melody gives me chills. The slow, delayed waltz riff on a single guitar gives me chills. There’s this space between each of her vocal phrases where the listener is waiting and waiting, and at last she falls into the next line. You can hear the regret, the desolation.

When the chorus comes in, her delivery grows more fevered. “A bird on the edge of a blade/ Lost now forever, my love, in a sweet memory.”

This song alone makes me want to watch the show. Or maybe just sit in the dark and contemplate the dusty, choking quality of heartache.

If you like “My Least Favorite Life” by Lera Lynn, check out “The Only Thing Worth Fighting For” and “Leave It Up to Me.”

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