“I loved digging into memory. It wasn’t intentional; memory just happened,” says Nashville-based singer-songwriter Lauryn Peacock of her time in quarantine.
Memory just happened. Many of us are finding that truer than ever in this stressful time that leaves us alone with our thoughts much more than usual. On her new single “Coming Over Me Again,” Peacock sets a place for the unshakeable familiarity of past relationships, how easily channeled the ghosts of our past are when we’re quarantined in our apartments.
Premiering today on Audiofemme, the single will see its official release December 4 as a stand-alone 7″ titled Quarantine Love. It was written back in April when Peacock was dealing with the unexpected stillness and memories her solitude had awakened. “There are a lot of loose energies right now,” she says. “I live in an old building near the hospital where everyone has died. This used to be a plantation. Then there are the energies of being in my apartment all the time.” The single precedes a full length album that Peacock plans to release in January 2021.
Given that this is her first release in five years – following 2015 LP Euphonia – “Coming Over Me Again” feels like a fitting title, and Peacock says she felt more than ready to make new music. Having written 50 songs over the past few years but being too busy earning a master’s in theology to make an album, she was eager to start recording. She found a like-minded producer in Andrija Tokic and worked to cull down the songs. But, as most things did in 2020, her plans took a sharp turn.
“Our start date was March 23, the first day that the mayor put down the stay-at-home order. I took a bunch of flak from people who wanted me to go in anyway,” Peacock remembers. “I waited until we could quarantine a little more, wear masks. We waited, and then it was July. It took a long time to get elements together. We only did one round of edits, but it took seven weeks.”
Despite these complications, she was determined to release something this year, with all those songs burning holes in her pocket. A GoFundMe campaign helped her cross the finish line, financing the singles, the album, and a short documentary on the making of the LP to follow; Peacock also plans to donate 15% of all proceeds to Gideon’s Army and tornado and COVID relief in North Nashville.
Currently working on an MFA in poetry at NYU’s low-residency program that was slated to include two weeks in France—a huge plus for the admitted Francophile—Peacock realized she’d have to trade in Paris for her apartment when the pandemic forced her classes onto Zoom instead. Peacock settled in to the unexpected lull, reading and writing poetry and curiously attending to whatever memories emerged. Whether they were happy or sad was less important than the immediacy of their all-consuming presence. “It’s about going through the healing process but also the energies that stay with you. They could be good or bad. I take the Buddhist path and say ‘How do I know what is good or what is bad?’” she explains.
In the middle of her third master’s degree and following a time living in France pre-pandemic, Peacock brings a kaleidoscope of vantages and experiences into her current songwriting. While the themes within “Coming Over Me Again’’ are apt for 2020, Peacock also wanted a ’90s feel as an homage to the decade where she came of age. She reminisces about the ’90s animatedly, remembering listening to Pearl Jam with friends and rollerblading to “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” She feels fortunate that those songs soundtracked her adolescence. “I was very lucky to be in a cool pocket of music those years,” she remembers. When writing her single, she knew she wanted a ’90s easiness to the guitar work. Her producer introduced a technique of ’90s recording: mixing the vocals lower so listeners would have to turn the song up to hear them. The ’90s vibes aren’t retro or dated, though. They lend an easy, melodic sweetness to the song, as if to remind us that memory doesn’t have to be dark or painful all the time.
As with her previous work, Peacock’s warm, high voice is the perfect vehicle for the melody. The lyrics open on a younger, earlier time, propelled by acoustic guitar strumming. The verses build into an explosive chorus that repeats the song’s title: “You’re coming over me again.” Despite the rising action of the verses, the chorus’s transcendence feels like a surprise, like another memory coming from nowhere.
“Maybe the chorus is more about how as you heal from a relationship, it visits you, and you feel that person’s energy again, and it’s like they are there,” says the singer-songwriter, adding that she thought of different people while writing the song. “Certain relationships don’t shake loose. Some things are sticky.”