Courtesy of John Lensing

INTRODUCING : John Lensing

Singer-songwriter John Lensing just released his newest single “Talk To Me” on September 21, 2020. Hailed as “an artist to watch” by No Depression, Lensing is a burgeoning songwriter who pens lyrics of quiet confidence. With much of his music stemming from topics of mental health, Lensing allows listeners to experience an intimate and vulnerable confidence that allows room for being thoughtful. “Talk To Me” follows in that vein with a soundscape that walks the line between folk and acoustic pop. “This song is about communication. A lot of the choruses are reminders to myself.  The things you have to push through to keep trying,” says Lensing. “Sometimes you just need to remind yourself that everything takes time. I think a lot of people struggle with that idea.”

A lover of stories, John Lensing writes songs for the same reason he street performs: to make people care. About themselves, about others, and about things that sometimes hurt to care about. He has toured and street performed in six different countries around the world from North America to Europe, sharing his introspective music and connecting with people in a meaningful way. Lensing’s candid lyrics are set perfectly against a soundscape that blends alt-folk with bedroom pop and incorporates elements of hip-hop and traditional acoustic songwriting side by side. Finding his voice in the space between genres, Lensing blurs the line around what acoustic music is in similar styles as that of Noah Gunderson and Dermot Kennedy. “I want to create more beauty in the world and reduce the stigma around expressing the pain we feel,” says Lensing. “I can’t help thinking vulnerability is contagious.”

What’s your new single “Talk To Me” inspired by?
A lot of “Talk to Me” is just inspired by struggling with communication. Between friends, family, and partners over the years. One of the hardest things is to not shut yourself off from others and the world. I wrote this song about trying to push through that.
What is your favorite lyrical line in the song? Why?
“If I want anything real, It’ll take time to feel something”.
I’ve spent a lot of my life wanting things to come quickly, It’s very human.  I have to constantly remind myself of the time it takes to build anything worthwhile. I like having an excuse to sing that reminder to myself.
How do you describe your sound?

Vulnerable and honest. I’ve found most of my voice in the space between genres for now, but I grew up with a lot of inspiration from folk and hip hop music. I think the intersection is just finding whats genuine for me.

Who are some of your musical influences?

Some of the ones I really look up to are Dan Mangan, Dessa, Noah Gunderson, and Raleigh Ritchie.

How has the pandemic this year impacted you as a musician?

It’s been difficult for me.  Same for a lot of musicians I know.  It really reminded me of the cracks in our system, between gig workers unemployment and our health care system. I’m feeling a lot more stable and at peace now, between working odd jobs and getting a bit of recording done.  Still, there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure workers don’t continue getting left behind in this country. It’s been really helpful to find ways to channel my anxiety into activism.

What is one experience that has transformed you as an artist and musician?

One of the things I’m most grateful for is street performing. I made a living from street performing for a few years as I learned how to book tours. I’ve been all across the US and Europe, and have met so many amazing people through it. I’ve had a lot of heartfelt conversations with strangers about music and life after they listened and lowered their defenses a bit. It’s really helped me have faith in others and myself; I think a lot of my music and life is influenced my that.

What can fans expect next?

I’ll be putting out some more singles as soon as possible! No promises, but I should have some new songs ready in the winter. I’m making sure to give them all the time they deserve.

You can find more information about John Lensing at...