“This is a song about trying your best,” is how McKenzie Lockhart describes her newest single, Pasadena, nearly every time she plays it.
What began as a serendipitously lyrical phrase she spoke to her husband on a trip to see their insurance agent (“I think we may be on the wrong side of Pasadena”) eventually morphed into a coming of age song laced with a sweet melody, softly picked guitars, and lilting pedal steel. It captures a feeling common among creative and passionate young adults—being unsure of exactly where you’re going, but trusting you’re headed in the right direction.
Pasadena is Lockhart’s return to a proper studio after the release of her EP Suburbs in 2018, which was recorded in live takes by a microphone in her own living room. It shows the progression of her singer-songwriter style into Americana tendencies like those of Brandi Carlile, I’m With Her, and Lori McKenna.
Trying our best is all any of us can every really do, and it is Lockhart’s ability to embrace this concept that has led to the steady progression of her musical career. Her growing touring schedule and following on streaming services prove it’s only a matter of time until this young artist breaks through to the larger audience her skill is truly beckoning.