Lethia’s Natorium – “You Lived Here Like a Tenant”


Delivering a memorable sound with throwback pop appeal, “You Lived Here Like a Tenant” is another highlight from Lethia’s Natorium. Pena Hughes-John’s stirring songwriting leads the London-based project, which debuted this past July, at The Bedford River Festival. Alongside “Sorry No Longer Cuts It,” “You Lived Here Like a Tenant” is among many strong tracks throughout the project’s album, Tenant.

The bouncy, sharp-cutting pulses and piano adornments lead a spirited sound with ’60s and ’70s pop vintage appeal. The suave vocals and frolicking instrumentation makes for a sound that balances serene nostalgia and forceful decisiveness, with lyrical references to burning fossil fuels and “destruction and decay,” contrasting enjoyably with the instrumentation’s airy demeanor. Fittingly enough, the song’s chord structure takes inspiration from the ABBA song “One of Us.”

“I was inspired by the ‘around the houses’ way that Abba did the chord sequence whereby, the song starts in one chord, goes all around the houses (the verse and the chorus) and then returns back to its original chord, in time for the next verse,” Hughes-John says. “I used this as the basis in ‘You Lived Here Like a Tenant’, with the song starting in the chord of C and the sequence ending in the chord of C. The vocals were sung in the style of the B52s.”

Hughes-John elaborates further on the track’s themes and inspirations:

“Having watched several episodes of the real-life documentary series ‘Slum Landlords/Nightmare Tenants’ and ‘Neighbours from Hell’, coupled with climate change being the main issue, was the thinking behind this song. Yes, it would have been easy to write a general climate change song but instead, I wanted to look at it as if it was a landlord and tenant relationship. The landlord being the earth and the ‘unruly tenants’ being the human race. Unlike a normal landlord and tenant, where the tenant generally pays rent, the landlord on this occasion starts the song off with : “I allowed you to live here. Did not charge you a fee….”

Stream Tenant below:

Photo Credit: Veritesque Productions

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of November 2022’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup. The submitter accepted our content-based offer, which included financial compensation for our time writing, editing, and publishing this article.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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