Built from cherished childhood memories, the closing track from new album Left Hand is a tribute to the natural world
Becca Mancari’s musical journey began when they moved to Nashville in 2012, in many ways an ideal setting for an artist marrying remarkable songwriting with the ability to make their guitar tell a story. Originally from rural Pennsylvania, that irresistible combination can be heard on Mancari’s 2017 debut Good Woman and critically acclaimed sophomore album The Greatest Part.
Up next is Left Hand. Though born from a dark period, the record manages to radiate openness and acceptance through its lyrics and increasingly orchestral sound palette. Self-produced by Mancari, the community feel is amplified by the presence of trusted friends like Brittany Howard and Julien Baker. With themes of reassurance and encouragement, Left Hand invites listeners to find solace and hope in music and beyond. Closing track To Love The Earth reconnects spirituality and nature, digging deep into childhood memories to face the future…
I was born into a family who saw the world as just a place we were passing through to another “greater” world. It was a religious belief to not get attached to the world, but to see it as more of a stepping stone, and that we should not be worried about really taking care of her because someday it would all be gone. But what I remember the most about my childhood was the way that the natural world made me feel safe… It made me feel a deeper sense of meaning and of unknown beauty. I felt safe in its arms, and as I left my strict religious upbringing I started to see how my actions mattered and how the earth needs to be protected. This song is a love song to the earth and all that it holds.
At first, the lyrics came from a giant list I made about the things that were core memories of being that little queer kid living in rural Pennsylvania. There’s a line that says, “I want to crown you with Queen Anne’s Lace,” and I remember being with my sisters in the thick overgrown meadows of the hill country of Pennsylvania filled to the brim with Queen Anne’s Lace.
I remember before all the hurt and all the things we carried with us from the pain we all faced together… we held those flowers and felt grounded to the earth beneath our feet, and we felt infinite like we might just live forever carving out our names in a tree that never dies. And as we grew older and found our own voices and threw off the teachings we were raised with, “We were re-baptized, but in a different kind of way.’ We found our way out, and learned how to love ourselves and the world around us that we were not just passing through anymore.
When I started demoing this song I knew I wanted it to slowly build almost like a whispered “prayer”; I wanted it to feel like you were literally getting free by the end. I feel like the whole musical is very restrained and makes you feel like you are almost in a memory, and then by the end you are finally led back to a brilliant present with the strings and winds exploding into the drums at the end. I wanted the music to feel like the way it is to read that last line to your favourite book.
IN THE STUDIO
The thing that I will never ever forget is the way I felt when I heard the strings being recorded live in the studio. It was unlike any feeling I have ever had making music, and I felt like this record was the beginning of me truly becoming free.
To me I don’t think I could ever make a record like Left Hand again… it was so incredible to mark the exact moment of growth I was in. And I loved ending the record with To Love The Earth because I believe it will live on far after I am gone. It’s my greatest honour to write a love song to Earth for all its glory and to promise to fight to protect it for as long as I am here.
Left Hand is out now on Captured Tracks and Becca Mancari is currently touring the U.S. Find live dates, tickets, music and more at beccamancari.com