Lucy Wainwright Roche Ups Emotional Ante With 2 Versions of 'Ohio Is For Lovers': Premiere

Jess Griffin
Lucy Wainwright Roche

As the daughter of Loudon Wainwright and Suzzy Roche (The Roches), Lucy Wainwright Roche was born with music in her genes and has been perfecting her craft for as long as she can remember.

With a niche for wry lyrics and gift of mysteriously beautiful vocals, Lucy’s leaves fans with no doubts that her music is her own, regardless of her family’s legacy.

Roche has already earned early praise for her album Little Beast, out Sep. 28, which delivers an urgent and poetic call to a world gone awry.

Now, Wainwright is premiering her newest single “Ohio Is For Lovers,” exclusively on Billboard today (Aug. 9).

The piano ballad delivers haunting lyrics which narrate a deep longing for something missed. The emotional track is sure to clench the hearts of listeners with its sorrowfully captivating lyrics and somber piano instrumentals.  

“There are so many times in life that we daydream about what our lives could have looked like had we made a different decision at a pivotal (or sometimes even a seemingly inconsequential) moment,” Lucy expressed. “How would the trajectory of our lives have played out in that parallel universe? Usually, this exercise is in retrospect, but in the making of Little Beast, it turned out to be a foundational template in which to create from the very beginning of the project. 'Ohio' turned out to be an interesting case study/result of this,” she continued.

Although the song clearly needs no more than the solo piano to exude its message, that was actually not the original recording of the song. 

In what she calls the Black Mirror take, Lucy takes to the electric guitar for a more full band sound, while still conveying an aching heart that yearns for something.

“The two versions of the song ended up kind of bookending our recording process - 'Ohio (Is For Lovers)' was the first track we worked on back in the summer of 2016 and it has a kind of full band, (lowercase r) rock feel to it,” Wainwright stated regarding the alternative version of the track. “The other version - 'Ohio (Is For Lovers)' - is the version of the song that is on the final album and that was the very last arrangement that we made in the spring of 2018. The 2018 version has a slower, more agonizing feel to it and we felt that that got at a part of the song that we hadn't had in the earlier version.”

Check out the alternative version, “Ohio (Is for Lovers),” below.