Written by: Kara Kundert
If there’s any single emotion that could have defined 2021, yearning would probably be pretty close to the top of the list. Lonely, isolated, and missing your loved ones — it was an experience that bound us together, even though we were all apart.
Which is what makes the recent release of Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno’s self-titled debut album all the more prescient. Filled with bittersweet songs about love across a distance, each of the songs strikes a little truer now than it may have in another year. This particular track, “On the Line”, will hit home for anyone who has ever been in a long distance relationship for any length of time. With lyrics focusing on one point of view in the relationship — feeling insecure and on the outside of the life of the one they love the most — there is a quiet desperation and frenzied hope that runs through the song like ore in a mine. As Vivian says:
This song reflects the fragmented conversations that come with long distance relationships: getting a brief text about morning coffee plans or seeing an old friend, but not really knowing anything substantive. This song is ultimately about putting a relationship under pressure (or on the line) by giving one another space in a bid to preserve individuality, hopefully making the relationship more sustainable in the end.
Originally recorded by Vivian Leva for a college electronic music class, the version played in the music video is stripped back in its arrangement, with Vivian’s solo singing accompanied only by her steady rhythm guitar strumming and the understated elegance of Riley Calcagno’s clawhammer banjo picking. Surrounded by a gentle soundscape to carry you away into your own introspection, this song will make you feel at once lonely and completely understood.
Check out the full album by Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno and download your copy of “On the Line” today! Now available everywhere.