Le Ren – Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay

Back in 2018 Le Ren self-released a stunning little EP. The EP was called SONGS I OUGHTA SING. It was a companion EP to another release; SONGS I OUGHTA HEAR. The themes were of balance, of a shifting equilibrium between inner and outer, action and passivity. Now, the artist has released a video to accompany a track from SONGS I OUGHTA SING – ‘Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay’. Everything Le Ren achieves here gives pause.

The tale here is one of heartbreak and a being ‘at the end of all things…’. Le Ren has a voice that pours into the fullness of a slow ballad. She sings with authority, and with a depth of emotion that others would break when trying to lift. With a time signature that measures well against lyric the vocals still find moments to pause, to quietly shuffle-step and add something human-angelic. We say ‘heartbreak’ and there is mention of all that stuff, but there’s also something else happening here. There’s an emotional intelligence underpinning the track that elevates the content. Love is not enough. When damage is being inflected, even if by an object of deep affection, the only healthy option is to retreat. Le Ren states this, with poetry and soul, and in a way that offers courage and endurance for the slog.

The video, directed by Ali Vanderkruyk, feels like winter. It’s beautiful, it’s dark. When you’re in the thick of it you crave light, but at the end you miss it, and want to return to the start. The romance of openings is not lost on Le Ren. Here’s what she said about the visual treatment: “(Ali’s) concept was to have everything very much stripped down to show the loneliness that goes along with the loss of a relationship. I wrote the song when I realized I was being treated badly and that the love that I had couldn’t solve that. A real pick me up for winter!!”



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