Bill Withers said we all need someone to lean on with his iconic 1972 track “Lean on Me.” His death March 30, 2020, from heart complications left a void ready for Leslie Mendelson’s “Lay It All on Me,” the final single from the album If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…, which dropped April 17 via Royal Potato Family.
Created by filmmaker Jeff Preiss (Iggy Pop, REM), the music video captures an artistic sensibility representative of our time: together/apart. What feels most authentic is the visual expression of disconnection. The songwriter’s warm lyrical embrace and almost violent attack on her instrument starkly contrast against the empty seats and vacant room. Stunning visuals blend black, white, and color, with the layered camera work creating an all-inclusive feel. Mendelson’s open struggles with depression allow her an authentic intimacy when connecting with audiences, even in this video form: vulnerable and plaintive honesty shines through each vocal, making her more accessible to listeners. Like Carly Simon, Mendelson strikes a genuine connection through her music. —Lisa Whealy