LISTEN: Erin McLendon’s Unconventional Love Song

This Valentine’s weekend, we’re going to Keep the Music (love songs, in this case) Playing here at UMC. And, as we like to do, we’re going to give you something just a bit atypical.

Today, it comes to us via our friend Erin McLendon, whose name you’ve seen around here recently as the host of the monthly Music on the Move showcase at Marathon Music Works. That night, McLendon performed a new song titled “Shaking In My Boots” and, as good fortune would have it, it was released just in time for the holiday!

“Shaking In My Boots” was, in McLendon’s own words, inspired by her indecisiveness when it came to her relationship with her now-husband, whom she met on their first day as students at Belmont University. Soon, they became best friends.

“We stayed that way for all four years of undergrad, until we started toying with the idea of dating. Initially, we said it would be a bad idea because, we were such good friends. We didn’t want to ruin anything,” McLendon recalls. “Well, then came three years of us staying friends, still hanging out, and mostly me realizing there were some real feelings there and having zero idea what to do with them.”

Eventually, the pair began dating, and the rest is history. McLendon then wrote “Shaking In My Boots” a few months later, with the help of her longtime producer and collaborator, Stephen Leiweke.

Leiweke, McLendon notes, was instrumental in bringing the single to life, while helping her to incorporate her many varied influences into the project.

“I wanted this to have layers to it and not just be a punky rock song, so we added in the harmonized ‘has’ during the bridge. It was his idea to have me sing an octave above in the second verse to give a slight nod to Evanescence,” McLendon said. “I’ve always been a huge Queen fan, so that’s why some of the guitar licks and harmonies sound the way they do. The Black Keys’ ‘Fallin’ For You’ is one of my favorite pump-up songs, so we pulled inspiration from that when we distorted my vocals.”

“I wanted this song to not be a typical love song,” she continued. “I wanted it to be exciting and tell a different story, but also stay true to who I am, and I think we accomplished that.”

Want more from Erin? You can help her fund her forthcoming album — which, she promises, will be her most authentic work to date — by supporting her brand-new Kickstarter campaign, launched with the release of “Shaking In My Boots.” And, of course, you can swing by the next Music on the Move showcase at Marathon Music Works on Wednesday, February 24.

For now, check out “Shaking In My Boots (featuring Sweet Home Symphony)” below!

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