Today, Leslie Mendelson shares her new music video for “Lay It All On Me”—the fourth and final single, as well as, the opening track from her forthcoming album, ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…’ out this Friday, April 17 via Royal Potato Family. Largely inspired by ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band,’ the song is a plea to share the burden of a lover overwhelmed by the stresses of a world gone mad. For the clip, Mendelson collaborated with acclaimed filmmaker Jeff Preiss who’s previously directed videos for Iggy Pop, REM and Mariah Carey.
Leslie Mendelson’s ‘If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…’ was recorded in Brooklyn, NY where the singer/songwriter currently resides. The 10-song collection is stacked with songs that recall ’70s’ AM gold artists like Carly Simon, Carole King and Fleetwood Mac. And although sonically reminiscent of a simpler, more direct time in music, lyrically the album is completely of its time addressing depression, the gun rights debate, pharmaceutical addiction and over exposure to media in all its various modern forms.
“I struggle with depression and anxiety, and I’d never really expressed it before in my songs,” explains Mendelson. “What was going on with society even before the pandemic hit was affecting me, in terms of gun violence, friends dealing with addiction to prescription drugs that were supposed to help them, not to mention all of the darkness in the news and the pressure to be a presence on social media. So this is my record to address those feelings.”
Leslie Mendelson was set to open three shows for The Who this Spring, a band with whom she has an ongoing relationship, having previously opened for them twice last year at Madison Square Garden, as well as, supporting Roger Daltrey solo. She was also scheduled to tour with Jackie Greene in May and headline the West Coast in June, all of which has been postponed due to Covid-19. In 2019, she recorded a duet with Jackson Browne on the stirring composition, “A Human Touch” that was featured in the acclaimed documentary film, ‘5B’ about the first responders to the AIDS crisis in San Francisco circa the early ’80s. Leslie and Jackson performed the song together at the Beacon Theater in NYC in June, while she joined him throughout his West Coast tour in August. With such much upward momentum, 2020, in fact, looked to be the most successful year yet in her career.
“Things have really changed. I had a pretty great spring lined up: Three more gigs opening for The Who, a performance at The Town Hall, and a tour with Jackie Greene, which have all been postponed,” explains Mendelson. “We talked about bumping my release date back, but ultimately decided to stick with the plan. People still need art, they need music, they need songs. It’s a healing service. I’ve had to rethink things, but we all have. I’m now playing from my bedroom via livestream as my record release show, but ultimately I feel like people still want and need music, so if this is the way forward for now, I’m in.”