LA alt-pop duo LEAN return with “At Least I Tried,” their most invigorating track to date. “At Least I Tried” is the pair’s first music of 2019, following last winter’s release of the single “Head In The Clouds” and 2018’s debut LP Years. While the guys have been on the shelf this year working on various projects from producing to solo material, it comes as no surprise that their new single together is a clear-cut winner on every level.
On “At Least I Tried,” bandmates Stephen Johnson and Kyle McCammon expand their lyrical and sonic muscle. The song is an exploration of what it feels like to give it your all and win or lose, at least you tried. That’s what we’ve always been told, the “at least you tried” sentiment. But in a world where everything is measured by numbers, data, and winning results, LEAN brings us back to reality and most of all, back within ourselves. Burden by the weight of the world and the chaos that’s attached to it, “At Least I Tried” paints an honest portrait of heartbreak and regret. It reflects on how you sometimes miss the warning signs even when they’re in plain sight.
Sonically, LEAN’s clean textures, smooth and dreamy melodies wrap you up tightly and what a blissful feeling it is. With artists these days laboriously trying to stitch together a cornucopia of sounds together and be called “genre-blending,” LEAN takes the refreshing approach of keeping things cool and unassuming. And honestly, it’s a beautiful thing as they once again find themselves entering an indie-pop paradise chock-full of passionate lyrics and alleviating echoes.
McCammon and Johnson met in late 2016 and formed LEAN shortly afterward. After a stretch of singles, they made their debut with Years in the spring of 2018. With this comeback single, one can hope a sophomore album is in the works for 2020.