Interview: Lenka

Lenka (Publicity Photo)

Lenka (Publicity Photo)

Rockin’ The ‘Burbs recently had a chance to chat with Aussie singer-songwriter Lenka. You’re probably already familiar with Lenka from her song “The Show“, which appeared in the 2011 film Moneyball (FYI, it’s the song Brad Pitt’s daughter sang); however, she just released a brand new album titled Shadows on her very own label Skipalong Records. She is currently touring in support of the album and will be playing a show at World Cafe Live in Philly on Monday, 7/22 (show details here).

Below is the music video for the lead track from Shadows, “Nothing Here But Love”, which will also be a key song in J.J. Abrams’ new show Believe. FYI, you can stream the entire album on Spotify.

Keep scrolling to read the interview and stay tuned for our coverage of her show.

RTB: Congrats on the new album! So, what have the last 2 years been like for you (since the release of your sophomore album Two)?
Lenka: Quite transforming! Becoming a parent, becoming an independent artist, and moving my life slowly back to my hometown, Sydney.

RTB: Since having your baby (in 2012), has your perspective on touring changed at all? Do you get to bring him on the road?
Lenka: I try not to bring him as it’s not a pleasant scene for a baby. I am quite logistical about it. We move as a family to a base (this time it is New York) then I go off and do a few shows at a time nearby. Next we will move to Berlin and I’ll do a Europe tour.

RTB: A lot of people were introduced to your music more recently through “The Show”, a song dating back to your 2008 debut album. How has your relationship with that song evolved over the years?
Lenka: I still love it, luckily. It’s like a part of me and is a very enjoyable song to sing live.

RTB: Conceptually speaking, you’ve referred to your new album Shadows as “lullabies for adults”. How different was writing this album compared to your first two? What were some of your musical inspirations?
Lenka: I was inspired by mellow folky dreamy stuff, contemporary and vintage. Sigur Ros, Nick Drake, Fleetwood Mac, Iron and Wine, Donovan, Cat Power, Bjork. I wrote the album largely whilst pregnant, so the hormones were kicking in and making me feel very cozy and calm!

RTB: You worked with your husband (visual artist James Gulliver Hancock) on the video for “Nothing Here But Love” (above). Whose idea was it? Was it a concept that you were you on board with from the start?
Lenka: It was his idea and I was totally on board. We had in fact wanted to do something like this for a while, so it was a matter of finding the right song to be it’s vehicle and going from there.

RTB: Is there anything about Philly that you particularly enjoy or look forward to?
Lenka: Well, I don’t want to eat a Philly cheesesteak. I tried that last time and wasn’t a fan [GASP!]. But I’m hoping to check out the Magic Gardens – I hear it’s cute.

RTB: So, what’s next for you? From an artistic standpoint, do you anticipate parenthood influencing your future projects?
Lenka: I am continuing to write songs and they are becoming even more cheerful (if that’s possible for me!), so I guess another album will emerge at some point. I love making my videos and my craft. I am writing more tailored music for film and TV right now and I have just gotten some remixes made of songs from Shadows that I plan to release soon. Other than that, just enjoying watching the little man grow and develop and trying to lead a happy life.

RTB: Thanks, Lenka… looking forward to your show at World Cafe Live on 7/22 (get tickets here). We’ll have a nice cheesesteak here waiting for you!