Written by Julie Byrne and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
Vocals performed by Julie Byrne
Instrumentation performed by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
The original (wordless) version of the track is included in Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s album “In Summer” (2016).
Julie Byrne and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma have shared “Love’s Refrain,” a collaboration featuring lyrics and vocals from Byrne and music from Cantu-Ledesma, for Mexican Summer’s Looking Glass series.
Of the song Byrne said: “Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s original version of love’s refrain is a song that always felt limitless to me. 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.
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.
Of making the video at her home with her friends, Thea and Lydia Kegler, she added: “In the earnestness of creating this video with an iPhone to record and torn up party streamers as our lone prop, we reached to represent this transit. We wanted the video to feel like the cathartic break in a process unseen and to convey a solitude that is ultimately the site of renewal.”