“Libby” pays homage to the universal coming of age that we all experience at some point in life, thanks to the influence of our mentors such as our elders, our peers, even nature.
For Jeni Schapire, it was her grandmother that encouraged her growth into selfhood. She notes that as her grandma aged and lost her sight, she read the infamous novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston out loud to her.
“In the novel, the protagonist (Janie Mae Crawford) begins to discover her hopes and dreams while lying under a pear tree. When I think about my grandma, Libby, many years after she died, I come back to this memory over and over,” the singer-songwriter says of those final moments whose details she’s memorized.
Like a reverie, Schapire’s single pulls listeners into swells of synth-scapes and gentle movements that lull the longing hearts learning to embrace the growth and mortality of life. There are instrumentation and tonal structures that dance around longing, loss, and hope.
It’s beyond fitting to describe the song as a remembrance to an elder that has passed, a gift if you will to the vital nourishment that Jeni’s grandma has given her in her journey. Her words recapture that time she sat on her grandmother’s couch where they reveled in Hurston’s words. For Jeni, this couch is where she found self-assurance, much like Janie did under the pear tree.
It’s empowering to note that this artist is also a producer, and a great one at that. Embarking on the trend of the DIY ethos, the music culture is seeing a surge of female engineers who have taken it upon themselves to learn the methodical and difficult process of self-production and it’s inspiring to see what and how creators can manifest their visions within their own prowess.
Stream “Libby” below.
Anjali Rose Kumar is a musician, videographer, and creative freak based in Brooklyn, NYC. Anjali is learning to cope with a self-imposed quarantine in NYC’s second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic by spending her hours recording music in her bedroom, watching her unemployment leave her bank account, and embarking on a newly revived love of writing. In fact, when Anjali was 10 years old she was convinced she would live her life as a writer, however, she would often confuse her teachers by making up her own vocabulary and therefore buried the interest for 15 years. Cheers to the new years ahead of us. You can find out more about Anjali here.