Singer songwriter Lera Lynn looks nothing like the character she played on season two of HBO’s crime noir series, True Detective, who sang woeful drug ballads in a seedy dive bar.
Lynn said the main actors Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell probably never caught a glimpse of her on set without her makeup on, which included track marks and bruises on her arms, dark circles under her eyes, oily hair and yellow teeth.
“I looked a lot worse in person than on camera, thankfully,” said Lynn in her home studio in Nashville, Tennessee. “I did tell Colin and Vince once, ‘Just so you know, I am a healthy regular person.'”
Lynn was selected by producer and composer T. Bone Burnett to help write and sing the songs that set the mood for the dark critically acclaimed series. But Burnett and the show’s creator Nic Pizzolatto couldn’t tell her much about the plot when she started working on the show, other than they wanted “narco-ballads,” Lynn said. Grammy-winning singer Rosanne Cash also helped write songs for the show as well, including the haunting “My Least Favorite Life.”
“It was interesting trying to create a character for the show whose function I was completely oblivious to,” Lynn said.
But now that the show is over, Lynn has returned her focus on working on her next album and touring in the United States and overseas. Lynn’s last album, The Avenues, released in 2014, is a mix of Americana and country and her voice has a heavenly whisper that invokes comparisons to Joy Williams of The Civil Wars. Her next album, produced by Joshua Grange, is due out early next year.
“I think there are definitely aspects of the True Detective style that run through my music,” Lynn said. “It’s just a sliver of what I do. T. Bone saw that somewhere and I think that’s why he invited me to write and play on the show.”
She’s thankful for the extra attention she’s gotten from appearing on the show and said adding the songs from the television series to her set list has also added a dramatic element to the live show.
“I throw them in where people least expect it,” Lynn said. “It’s a neat part of the show, I think. It just brings everything way down for a minute. And then we just rock out.”