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Becca Mancari is baptised in a beautiful love letter to queerness on Left Hand

"Left Hand"

Release date: 25 August 2023
Becca Mancari
25 August 2023, 16:30 Written by Michael Hoffman

Becca Mancari wants us to feel as though the cover of their third album, Left Hand, was photographed on another planet.

And in many ways the sonics inside mirror it: deftly-carved landscapes that tap into a cavernous wellspring of queer self-confidence, and, ultimately, showcase a new pop era for the singer-songwriter. Mancari assumes much of the production responsibility here, building upon the experimental pop elements from their previous record. Left Hand is full of crunchy guitars and electronics that continue to diverge from Mancari’s folky roots in the Nashville music scene, and the depth of the production shines: hushed vocals soar above airy synths, tropical guitar riffs, layered percussion, and undulating string sections. “Don’t Even Worry,” co-written with friend and bandmate Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, immediately signals Mancari’s continued willingness to experiment.

The record’s title, Mancari notes, comes from their Italian surname and family’s ancient crest which depicts a dagger held by a left hand. This takes on layered meaning as the album becomes a love letter to queerness, one that acknowledges the pain and beauty so often wrapped up in coming-out journeys. Mancari notes, “In many cultures, children born with a dominant left hand were actually taught not to use that hand, but told that using your right hand was ‘normal’ and for me it struck a chord in me that similarly queer children are oftentimes told that it’s not ‘normal’ for them to love who they love, and that they need to ‘change’.” The addictive single “Over and Over,” featuring backing vocals from Julien Baker, captures the very real joy that accompanies self-acceptance.

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” is a celebratory statement that finds Mancari looking forward with eager abandon, soaking up each precious moment. “It’s right here,” they sing, “I’m right here,” knowing deeply that “you only get one life / only get one time.” By the end of the album, on “Life on Earth,” Mancari sings, [I] wanna be re-baptised / but in a different kind of way.” Left Hand documents a rebirth of spirit and sound, where Mancari emerges from the “background of [their] life,” with their soul on full display in the foreground – a coveted life once sought after, now claimed, and illuminated like the sun-washed cave and waters they walk from.

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