Lisa Gain has been making great music in Columbus for a long time now. Last year, Gain won WOSU’s Tiny Desk contest, adding to a collection of accolades and awards that she’s corralled in her 20-plus years of musical service.
Over that time she’s honed and refined her blend of songwriting and musicianship into a sound that is uniquely her own. Currently, she fronts Lisa Gain & The Rusty Silos, a trio where she sings and plays guitar. They’re a prolific act that you can usually find playing around Columbus on the weekends.
If you’ve ever had a chance to listen to her, you know that she can tell a story like no other, knowing exactly how to tug at the heartstrings of the listener. Her voice, however, is what truly sets her apart from her contemporaries. You can call her folk, indie, Americana, or whatever you’d like, but you cannot deny the passion and emotion in her voice. Never more do these qualities shine more brightly than in her newest solo single Worth It, released last month.
For this effort she called upon the talent of Eric Clemens, formerly of Brave Weather, currently fronting Clemens + Co. I’ve seen Gain and Clemens play together around the city before, and they have a similar vocal style and ability that makes them the perfect candidates for a duet. She also employed Steve Perakis on stand-up bass.
The song opens with both acoustic guitars playing softly before her voice takes over. It doesn’t take long before you realize the direction this is going. It’s a love song with a twist. Gain talks about the pain she’s had in past relationships and how difficult it is to open up to potential lovers.
“I know that I am timid and shy, thankful that you gave me the time,” is a line that resonates with anyone who has experienced that specific pang of loneliness. It’s the need to reach out and find validation from another, but not being sure if you want to commit yourself. After a heartbreak, we might find ourselves wondering if we’re even worth loving, and distant from those who might hurt us again.
Both Gain and Clemens start harmonizing on the chorus, with one of the sharpest daggers in Gain’s repertoire, “it’s not your fault that my hearts been broken in the past, you’re all I need.” It’s a longing and a reaching. Moreover, it’s a breaking point where she realizes that perhaps this person is the one that she is looking for, or at the very least worth giving the chance to love.
Clemens sings the second verse, from the opposite point of view. “I know that I’m not a bad guy, I’ll return the love in your eye,” tells you that both parties have been down that road before, and that both are ready to give love another shot.
On the second chorus, Gain says, “And I say you’re worth it, so no more looking back, you’re all I need.” It is the high point of the song, with both Gain and Clemens’ voices mingling together perfectly with their guitars.
When you reach the end of the song, you almost don’t realize that it’s nearly four and a half minutes long. Gain is not known for beating around the bush. She is succinct and concise in her lyrical wordplay, never missing her target, which is almost always the listener’s heart.
Currently, Gain is not only working on her solo project, but busy making an LP with The Rusty Silos, as well. Which means that we should be treated to twice the excellence in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled for that and more from this spectacular singer and songwriter.
Lisa Gain and Eric Clemens – Worth It