Hawaiian-born Sara Lov (once-frontwoman of dream pop band Devics) begins her heartfelt, sentimental track 'New York' with a slowly-drawn step towards closure:
'I came here, I waitedTo see it, to say thisWhat started on Fourth Street is finished.'
This is clearly a song about heartbreak and the need for closure, but Lov's delivery makes it fresh, unique, honest and engaging. The vocals drip with nostalgic sentimentality, but there's a rare lightness of touch at work here, an angelic simplicity in way the sadness is conveyed. Lov's lyrics are beautifully constructed, with New York serving as a graveyard for all the bright hopes the speaker's relationship once ignited, the place where it all started, the place where the significant other now enjoys a vibrant life (without her), a tombstone for her treasured memories: 'I came back to see it/ Through new eyes and feel it/ I waited all night/ On boards by the waterside... '
The song circles back to the opening verse, reinforcing the finality of the end of a shared life. But there isn't any fatalism being peddled here, one senses that the speaker has never lost track of her silver lining. The last verse is a candid revelation of her fragile desolation, but it doesn't register as a desperate confession or a plea of help, but as a private admission of personal loss underscored by a quiet, determined will to persevere: 'Maybe it's enough to know/ I never walk alone/ I get by on my own/ I'll always be my only home'.
Allison Franks has also noted how this quiet sense of optimism underscores Lov's signature melancholy: "From the cover art’s delicate flower design to Lov’s echoing folk tunes to the entire album’s riff on the idealism of youth, Lov marks a journey of the self that’s both positive and reassuring. The music is as moody as expected, with heartfelt vocals and Lov’s seductive cool, which comes across as both dark and devious while still managing to sound somewhat heavenly ...the haunting piano melody of “New York” sends chills down our spines" (Consequence of Sound, 2009).