Lauren Calve – ‘Better Angels’ (Lyric Video)

Making a name for herself in the world of blues and Americana, Lauren Calve has a voice that at once will remind you of Patty Griffin, Bonnie Raitt, and even Ben Harper. She’s known for her innovative melodies that seemingly come out of nowhere, and her latest single, ‘Better Angels’, from her ‘Wildfire’ (set for release on 23 June) is no better example of this.

The bluesy track couldn’t be released at a better time; it’s been given a whole new meaning in the current crisis of COVID-19. Together with the lyric video, ‘Better Angels’ has come to celebrate those among us who are on the front lines: the first responders and medical staff, right down to the taxi drivers who get the sick to hospital, and the shelf-stockers who make sure we are able to get food in this unprecedented global time of need.

The video pays homage to the heroes in Lauren’s life – her mailman, the chief of police, the afore-mentioned shelf-stockers and store employees, and the four generations of her own family who are currently coping in their own way with this situation. We see Lauren sitting by herself, sketching. She looks out the window and is momentarily distracted by the thoughts of those people who aren’t able to self-isolate, because they are providing essential services. Putting aside her drawing she takes photos of them, making a document of their self sacrifice, and letting them know that they are not forgotten. She makes a reconnection with family and friends, albeit online, and after restoring her sense of community, returns to her sketch. It’s a delicate capturing of the sense of separation we are all feeling right at this moment, and takes our focus off our alone-ness and re-centres it on a more positive and uplifting place.

Lauren Calve wrote the song, ‘Better Angels’, after having listened to a radio interview with Jon Meacham, about his book, ‘The Soul Of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels’. Meacham was inspired by the inaugural address of Abraham Lincoln, and applied his message of “the better angels of our nature” to that of the courage of the American people who had dealt with the unprecedented crises of their era. Lauren said,

 “As I listened to this, immigrants were being contained, families were being separated, children were held in cages without beds, blankets, or food. Talk about a defining moment in American history and the ‘battle for our better angels.’  Lincoln’s words still held a powerful resonance, and they gave me a deep hope that I hadn’t felt in years. ‘Better Angels’ came from that surge of hope and optimism.  It was a reminder that we would always rise to the occasion, no matter what.”

Lincoln’s message came back to Calve once the spread of COVID-19 began, and she thought about the everyday people on the front lines during this current pandemic.

“For me, they symbolize the angels that Lincoln talked about,” says Calve.  “The qualities of our better nature – courage, leadership, resolve, resilience, empathy, compassion, and altruism are all exemplified in the nurses, doctors, janitors, grocery store clerks, mail carriers, delivery truck drivers, pharmacists, and other essential workers.  They are the ‘better angels’ in the lyrics while embodying the true spirit of the song and of Lincoln’s famous words: ‘The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.’”

Watch the lyric video for Lauren Calve’s song, ‘Better Angels’ below. You can find out more about Lauren Calve from her official website.

Lauren Calve - Better Angels (Lyric Video)

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email