Sixteen-year-old San Francisco singer Lila Blue’s song “Dear Lord” starts with the same three words that Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle” does: “All my life.”
But whereas Lamar turns those three lines into a meditation about the hubris and trivialities of being a teenager, Blue goes in a religious direction, questioning whether or not she believes in God, and if so, what she’d say.
Calling it her “first and last letter to God,” Blue used a bass to pluck the rumbling, low-pitch melody of the folk ditty. A deft musician, adept at playing both guitar and ukulele, Blue turned to bass for “Dear Lord” largely for circumstantial reasons.
“It was eighth grade and I’d broken my right wrist so badly that I had a cast that went past my shoulder and froze my arm in a bent position,” she says. “So I pulled [the bass] out and placed it on my lap and started playing it like a lap guitar.”
In the accompanying music video for “Dear Lord,” premiered today on SF Weekly, you can see Blue sitting cross-legged on a hardwood floor, plucking away at the bass. The video was shot in Virginia while recording The Hollows Hold The Healing, Blue’s second album on which “Dear Lord” appears.
The resulting video is as simplistic and nuanced as the song itself, shifting between footage of Blue sitting on the floor and Blue — filmed in black and white — purring away in front of a microphone. And that stripped-down style is exactly what Blue wanted for the video.
“Because that’s where the song spawned from,” she says, “feeling alone and questioning a belief you’re never sure you quite believed in.”
Blue’s album, The Hollows Hold The Healing, was chosen by SF Weekly as one of the 5 Best Bay Area Albums of 2016. Read the review here.