Twin sisters Jana and Jacy Ayers are based out of Oklahoma, so you’ll be forgiven if you expect a vocal duo from that region to be steadfast purveyors of classic or modern country. The masterful AOR-influenced strands of “Here to You”, the sisters’ latest single from their band Lavendine, is perhaps a mild surprise for newcomers. They tackle the style with unquestionable confidence. “Here to You” never gets away from itself, but the singers and musicians alike soon establish a driving pace for this track that picks you up in its grip and carries you aloft until the track’s conclusion.
Having the energy for a performance like this is even more impressive considering the health woe both women have survived. Dental issues spiraling into larger problems and myriad other health emergencies have attempted subverting the duo’s desire to write and record new music, but the Ayers put their heads down and powered through thanks to family, friends, and faith. This is accessible and fully secular material, however. Lavendine makes no bones about their religious beliefs without ever allowing it to limit their artistry.
Artistry is what is at work here. The acoustic and electric guitars in the song engage in a dance of sorts, the former leading the way through the song, but the latter punctuates its most important moments. The bridge is a fantastic payoff whose effects dwarf the fine chorus. The drumming should take a particular bow for the decision to hit the cymbals with several crucial crashes during dramatic moments in the song. It gives the arrangement a little added push.
The shadows and dark colors of the lyric video reflect the place Lavendine has come from, not where they are now. “Here to You” looks back, past tense dominates the lyric, but it’s clear the experience has left the song’s “speaker” a changed person. The experience isn’t entirely processed and, of course, this song and finding someone new is all a part of that. Some listeners may disapprove of songs that seem to be “working out” personal issues in public view, but others appreciate the vulnerability such performances entail.
The aforementioned chorus is one of the most rousing portions of the song, but the entire track has an uplift that cuts against the darkness running through so much of its lyrics. There’s a light clash of moods fueling the song – sunlight only comes through in a meaningful way during the chorus while the verses, despite the singer moving on from there, remain chronicles of woe. It may be too much for some listeners, but it is likely that Lavendine has hit the right note for many more.
“Here to You” is several things. It’s a secularized testament of faith. It’s a song about a relationship. It’s a pop song. Some will hear a strong spiritual bent. The cut reminds me of the surprised look appearing on people’s faces when reminding them that Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately?”, a staple of wedding proposals and celebrations worldwide, is actually about the Irish singer/songwriter’s love for God. This is pop songcraft a cut above your average music.
by Hannah Weeks