“Love’s Refrain” is a beguiling instrumental by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma that came out back in 2016 and was included on the experimental composer’s 2016 tape In Summer. Julie Byrne, the singer-songwriter who is taking her sweet time following up 2017’s magnificent Not Even Happiness, has always been enamored with the track, so she chose to add vocals and shape it into a more traditionally structured song for the latest entry in Mexican Summer’s Looking Glass series of team-ups. The new collaborative “Love’s Refrain” is out now and it’s just as dreamy and beautiful as the original.
“Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s original version of love’s refrain is a song that always felt limitless to me,” Byrne wrote in a statement. “When I first started writing the lyrics for the collaborative version, I would walk and listen to the song at dusk, sometimes I would walk for hours, playing it over and over again on headphones like I did with music i loved when I was a teenager.” She continued:
Initially the song was written about desire, the requisite distance embedded in the experience of desire, the feeling of really believing in someone and risking oneself in order to be guided by that belief. But as I moved through that time, it became clear that the experience of writing these lyrics and making this video had so much more to do with the healing of aloneness. The walks in and of themselves had become a therapeutic process for me, a space where I would practice my aloneness. I would set out to walk a distance not for the sake of destination but to feel embodied. At this pace I sought to restore the breaks in my spirit, cast another illusion onto the pyre, feel the necessity and possibility in that, where I would turn my words over and over again in my mind until they became deliberate, where I would sometimes so clearly feel a sense of horizon breaking through me.
“Love’s Refrain” is out now via Mexican Summer.