Birth of a song

Birth of a song
Australian singer-songwriter Lenka.

It was at a clinic last year that Australian singer-songwriter Lenka found inspiration for a song.

Pregnant with her first child, she was on her back with a Doppler fetal heart rate monitor pressed against her stomach, listening to her unborn son's heartbeat for the first time.

Lenka, who will be in town for a concert later this month, recalled being transfixed by the sound. "I thought it sounded so cool, really strong like the sound of a train moving," the chatty 35-year-old told M in a phone interview from her home in Sydney yesterday.

Her husband James Gulliver Hancock, who is also the visual artist behind several of her music videos and album art, recorded their baby's heartbeat on his iPhone as a keepsake.

The sound is now featured on a track called Two Heartbeats on Lenka's third album, Shadows, released in June.

The song, which starts off with the sound of the in-utero heartbeat of her son Quinn, is written from the perspective of an unborn child in his mother's womb.

Lenka's pregnancy influenced much of her songwriting for Shadows.

"A fair amount of my time was spent lying in the bath, staring at my belly, singing to Quinn because it's a means of connecting with him. I then thought the songs can definitely work their way into the album," she said.

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