Lyrah's singles Taken and Hold Me perfectly capture the state when you desperately need to hold on but the ground beneath your feet is fading. Hold Me, her latest and favourite song written as a cry out for comfort, turned out to be a source of comfort itself. We spoke to Lyrah about the writing and recording process behind it.
— How did the song come about? What came first – the production, the melody or the lyrics?
– I wrote this when I was living with my parents a year into the pandemic. I was making music out of their garage (so literally my own garage band). I made this one night when I exhausted listening to all my go-to comfort songs. It started as me in the cold, spidery garage on my uku.

The chorus was the first thing I wrote:

hold me if i lose my mind
catatonic all the time erased
promise i won't be like this forever
i can see a day

And this song felt like a breakthrough therapy session. I wrote it, wanting comfort from someone else. But now when i listen back to it, the song feels like it was written as comfort for this future me.

By the time I release something I'm normally so sick of listening to it. But that still hasn't happened with this song. It's grown in meaning and hits something unique for me.

Also I wrote this song almost a year ago. All the pieces were there but it didn't feel complete. A few months ago i revisited it and changed the rhythm of the chorus vocals, and it was suddenly there.
— It's surprising to learn this song started with just a uku. At what stage do you usually start thinking about the production? Was this an exception? Did you have the vision for this particular sound? What was the work on the production like?
— Most of my songs actually start on piano (that's my main instrument). In general I normally start with some instrument, finding the chords and pattern I want, and then go from there and bring it into Ableton and then produce it out more.

I brought this one into ableton fast because I knew I had something good as soon as I wrote the chorus on the uku. ????

I'm most often thinking about the mood I want to encapsulate and less about the specific sound I want. The mood/feeling then dictates the sound.

And I usually create videos that capture the feeling I want. In this case I used scenes from the movie Waves.

This vid is the demo that I produced out for the song.
— And then I brought on two friends to help with the production – Jon Wienner and Nick Booth, both incredibly talented. They had produced out Dominic Fike's last album.

You'll be able to hear from the demo to the final version out there, the polish that they brought to it.

And of course then I re-recorded all the vocals since it was the scratch take in the demo version.