Five years ago, award-winning singer-songwriter Lakin found herself at a painfully challenging intersection between love and loss. She had to choose between the love of her life and the love of her spiritual community. Through rigorous internal dialogue and reflection, Lakin made sense and processed her predicament.
Her latest album, Silent Conversations—her sophomore release, and Lakin’s first in 5 years—is a seasons-of-a-life album that soulfully, and intimately, invites us into what proved to be a transformative internal process. This aptly-titled collection of folk-influenced soul-pop unfolds a narrative of salvation through honesty. Lakin will seed the path to the album through issuing a series of singles before releasing the full album in the spring of 2020.
“I wanted this album to be about things that scared me, and things that were a true vision of me,” the Southern California-based artist shares.
On Silent Conversations, Lakin homes in on her signature aesthetic which blurs the lines between pop, neo-soul, and folk. Lakin is one of those rare artists that can be both raw and refined—expressing deeply personal truths with poetic lyrics and stately songwriting. She has garnered favorable comparisons to John Mayer, Sara Bareilles, New Zealand’s best kept secret Brooke Fraser, and even Mariah Carey in her prime.
Lakin has previously issued an EP and a debut album. She’s an Independent Music Awards Vox Pop Winner, and Lakin has the distinction of opening for such acts as Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat, Brian McKnight, Sheila E., Teena Marie, and Gladys Knight. In addition to these marquee engagements, Lakin remains a fixture around college campuses, having played 100 colleges across the US over the past few years.
Lakin writes, produces, and arranges her recorded offerings. A smooth and sophisticated sense of harmony and melody permeate her smartly crafted pop compositions and her sensually emotive singing. These attributes come from a bedrock musical background.
Lakin grew up in Riverside, California in a musical household. Her father is Dio Saucedo, an accomplished jazz musician who toured with George Benson for years, and who is currently an esteemed performance psychologist. Lakin’s mother taught her how to play piano, and introduced her to the cathartic process of writing poetry. Lakin further finessed her nascent creative gifts through pursuing a jazz studies major at Long Beach State University.
Whereas Lakin’s debut album was an eclectic expression of creativity, her latest, Silent Conversations, is stylistically focused, centered around a well-developed acoustic pop-soul vision. “I wanted this one to be my bread and butter—I wanted to establish what Lakin sounds like,” she says.
The album also establishes who Lakin is, and what she’s gone through. Five years ago, Lakin fell in love with the woman who is now her wife. At the time, she was deeply involved in a church that rejected such unions, and the institute eventually gave her an it’s-her-or-us ultimatum.
“This collection of songs has to do with my relationship with my wife, and the heartbreak of losing friends and a community,” Lakin shares. “That was a dark time. I had to try and figure out who I am; who is the God I believe in; and figure out how to make sense of the world around me.”
The first single to be released from Silent Conversations is the ethereally emotive “Echoed Love.” The song is a stirring saga on wanting the unconditional love of friends. It’s a bittersweet rumination on the uncertainty—the echo—of friendship’s endurance. The track brims with open-hearted lyrical poignance, comforting folk guitar passages, electro-pop ambience, and vocals of weary soulful longing. The album’s follow-up single and title track, “Silent Conversations,” embodies neo-soul at its most silken and uplifting. Here, Lakin brings the listener into her heart-and-head dialogue as she grapples with saying goodbye to a dear friend. Another album standout is the soul-tinged pop-rock of “Blindside” which recounts the very moment Lakin was confronted with the church’s uprooting ultimatum. The song balances stark reality with a feeling of empathy and love.
The Silent Conversations experience will extend into a long-playing video that explores timely political, cultural, and society struggles, and an intimately revealing lyric book companion piece. A profound entry in this revealing album keepsake is for the song “See You Through.” Here, Lakin shares a sweetly transformative moment of wisdom and uplift.
Today, Lakin is happily married to her soulmate, and she’s found a loving and accepting spiritual home. These days the difficult conversations are no longer silent, and Lakin will be sharing her epiphanic epic with others through her album and singles releases, and a busy calendar of live performances.
Written by Lorne Behrman