Artist Watch: Low Leaf

Monday, April 7, 2014

Serenity and simplicity are always in vogue. In this world of multitask and social networking, it's always nice to have the escape clause that is music, especially music that provides a personal bedding of comfort from the weary work week. When I heard Low Leaf's collaboration with Philly producer King Britt several days ago, I was first struck by its cooling hypnotic state, but after a few spins, I began to coast right along with its sparseness. Usually most minimal sounds have the high-end scent of walking into an Urban Outfitters, but with the kinship to the surrealistic pillowing of disciples like Erykah Badu and Bjork, Low Leaf's "A Light Within" conjured up something solitary. Her genuine intent is evident as her dedication to her Philippines homestead rises up into her music allowing the soul and spirit of "the people, its bloody history, and its bright future" to carve out a profound listening experience that succeeds at being divergent from the usual pack.

We've been slumbering a bit on the LA-based multi-talent (she's a classically trained pianist and self-taught harpist as well), as she's been honing her sound on a handful of EPs since 2011, but we'll get further chances to hear more from her as after joining the Fresh Selects family tree she'll have yet another set, AKAHAALAY, out on her roster on April 29th. For the time being we are treated to the (free) likes of "A Light Within", and the recently released, "Rise Up", which is the geared to be the first single from her upcoming LP and is also a wonder with all its textured weavings of trip-hop and jazz. With these two portraits, Low Leaf is an artist steadily on the move to bring cultural pride into the modern music fold, and her voice isn't to be silenced.

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