Exclusive Premiere: Lady Lazarus, ‘Train Song’
Under the intriguing moniker Lady Lazarus, Melissa Ann Sweat is preparing for her third release from her own label, Queen's Ransom. Miracles will follow 2013's All My Love in Half Light and her 2011 debut, Mantic. Today (Feb. 19), Diffuser is beyond excited to premiere a gorgeous new track from Miracles -- listen to "Train Song" in the audio player below.
With her ethereal vocals on top of a soothing keyboard arrangement, Lady Lazarus asks questions that are likely relatable for most listeners: "Will I learn it all in stride / And will I / Learn to take my time?"
With this particular song, she seems to have taken her time.
"This song has been with me a long time. It's one of a few on the new album I pulled from my vault of songs I've been building up since 2008 when I started my music project," she tells us. "This one came to me around the fall of '08 when I was wandering around the Santa Clara University campus not far from where my parents live in nearby San Jose."
"I must have been dreaming of the cross-country train trip I'd take a few months later that would take me from the Bay area through Winnemucca, Salt Lake City, Chicago, D.C., Greenville, then further into New Orleans, a place of magic for me," Sweat fondly recalls. "I read A People's History of the United States on the train, wrote, took photos, filmed, made sound recordings of the adventure, and the trip would become quite an influence on my life and art. But before that ... there was this song."
Admitting the song is a bit of a nod to the likes of Tom Waits and Vashti Bunyan -- who had their own train songs -- Sweat says "the song was a way to articulate a bit about my family dynamic -- which comes up more now on the new album."
"The song is essentially about time's inevitable forward motion," she explains. "My family's business is a tire store in Milpitas, Calif., where my father has labored day in and day out for over 35 years. He's his own man because of it, and I'm proud of him -- but he's also been tethered there and I've been reluctant to make a choice like that myself."
Being the oldest child her in family -- and the only girl with three younger brothers -- Sweat says she felt like "a lone wolf," which was sometimes a good thing, other times a bad thing. "I remember thinking about how families break up sometimes when the kids start to get married and form their own lives, and I was considering how that might inevitably take place in my own family -- how we'd just move on," she ponders. "What are we left to do but try to accept life's changes and realities with grace and try to take it as best we can?"
Miracles is due out March 3; you can pre-order your digital copy of the album via iTunes. And as we get closer to the release of the new record, make sure to stay up-to-date with everything happening in Lady Lazarus' world at her official Facebook page.
In the meantime, watch Lady Lazarus' official music video for Miracles' title-track below: