VIDEO: Low Leaf speaks about her new album

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October 14th? Yes, that’s the day when you’ll be able to hear the new album by Low Leaf called Palm Psalms: A Light to Resolve All Darkness and this will be on her own label, CreatorDIY. This brief video has her talking about what moved her to create hew new release this way and what you can expect to hear.

I’m unable to place a player for the album below to pre-order so please click here to head to the page to be able to do so.

VIDEO: Low Leaf’s “Life Is Peace (Live)”

It has been a year since Low Leaf released her debut album AKASHAALAY on Fresh Selects, one which I considered one of the best of 2014. While it may not be a means to celebrate, the release of a new video today does coincide with the anniversary so check out Low Leaf doing “Life Is Peace” as part of The Byrd Series @ Petit Ermitage, done on a West Hollywood rooftop, so it’s a way for her to interact with the outdoors and electronic landscape.


VIDEO: Low Leaf’s “Set Me Free”

It is a few days before I start revealing my favorite music of 2014 but me just say it now: Low Leaf’s AKASHAALAY (my review of which can be read by clicking here) is one of my favorite albums of the year. I heard it, immediately loved it and already knew it would be ranked high. If you’ve only heard of her but not the actual music, get in line and have a look and listen to her new one for the song “Set Me Free”.

VIDEO: Low Leaf’s “Roots” (documentary)

The quote that moves me in this new documentary video for Low Leaf is when she talks about genres, and “I’m not really sure where I fit, I just know that it’s experimental”, which is a willingness to experiment in whatever she creates. Sound is a pallet, and she wants to decorate and create, and much of that comes from her background, which is perhaps why this is called Roots, a means for her to not only plant the seeds in her career, but to see where her seeds had already been planted before. AKASHAALAY (Fresh Selects) is her brand new album, my review of which can be read by clicking here.


 photo LowLeafA_cover_zps0965c885.jpg The album begins with native sounds as a way to signify where she came from, where she’s rooted, and a part of what she represents. Upon beginning song #2 with “Rise Up”, we hear what Low Leaf represents today and with the release of her new album AKASHAALAY (Fresh Selects), we then listen to a map of where she will be heading to next.

What she has done in the last two years is nothing short of astonishing, showing how she’s capable of playing a number of different instruments while writing what she sings and singing what she writes. She is the creator of her content and while it would be easy for her to simplify and make what people wants to hear, her music is all about what she feels people need to hear. You may hear the polish of an Alicia Keys and go “wow, I see what she can do”. Then she escapes her comfort zone and walks within the path of an Erykah Badu, someone who knows about being radio friendly but allows herself to turn off the frequency so she can see and hear herself clearer, as she does in songs like “Set Me Free” and “Rise Up”. “Bahay Kubo” is beautiful in its own way, sounding satisfied like a Shuggle Otis funk gem but becoming rural in Low Leaf’s state of mind, bowing down to the greatness of the Irogot and passing the plate to one and all, yet still showing the influences of the American through the African, she remains herself while showing something complimentary to all that she finds in her passages.

“As One” takes a slight nod to Brazil, as if someone she opened the book of Maurice White and embraced the worldly views of the Earth, Wind & Fire leader and chose to learn a few pages out of the book to continue on with the mission presented by him and those before him. What I love about “As One” is that you’ll hear the acoustic piano and it may sound like someone entering a classroom of yesteryear with the woodsiness of the room, but mixed in with the synths and you can feel that she’s creating a few lessons, and do I hear part of a tinikling in this? If so, a very nice touch.

The album ends with “Life Is Peace” where it’s just her and her harp, the instrument many were welcomed with to her and her creativity. She takes what she hears, absorbs the nutrients and finds a way to envelope and develop to make something that can only be hers. You may catch some of the influences here and there but what she writes and records isn’t made to copy anyone else for the sake of being like anyone else, yet at the same time her spirit is to be amongst everyone else, as a celebration to say “this is me, this is a part of me, me is a part of we, and we are who we are to be.” Or something along those lines. She can get mystical and metaphysical, but move away the perceived codes and puzzles and what you’ll hear is Low Leaf showing her earthiness as a way to say that in order to see that space is the place and find no limits, you have to be grounded here on Earth. The path begins at home, and no matter how far you get out of your comfort zone, you’ll always have a place to return to, when you feel and understand the soul and crave it in abundance. It’s a representation of Low Leaf, and Low Leaf represents the person who she is, a vehicle for the music she has made for a number of years and will continue to do so for many more years.

AUDIO: Low Leaf’s “Set Me Free”

Fresh Selects are more than ready to release Low Leaf’s album AKASHAALAY next week, but I don’t think her older fans will be patient. Fans: you’re going to have to wait, at least for seven days and a few hours. For now, you’re getting a chance to hear “Set Me Free”, which continues to show her power and what more people will be aware of come next week. She played and produced a number of instruments as per the norm, but is joined by Matthew Baker on drums and something called Snorlaxbass on, what else, bass. Become a believer.

AUDIO: Low Leaf’s “Rise Up”

This woman’s work is about to elevate with the release of her debut album on Fresh Selects called AKASHAALAY, and people will learn and understand what some of us have known about Low Leaf for years. At times her approach is unique and diverse, but Low Leaf is not merely about being mere and diverse for the sake of being out there. She’s out there but very much in, and when she’s in, it’s quite remarkable. In other words, her feet are on both sides of that imaginary thin line, playing music that’s soulful and passionate but could, at any time, make a left turn into eccentric and eclectic exploration. For her, she is drawing her own lines, as you’ll hear in “Rise Up”, which she is about to do to a higher level.

FREE MP3 DL: Low Leaf & King Britt’s “A Light Within”

Low Leaf’s music blows me away each time I listen. I’ve been a fan of hers for two years and each time I hear something new from her, I think “why hasn’t anyone tapped into that creativity and energy?”, or “why hasn’t anyone brought that into the forefront?” Someone has, and we have Philadelphia to thank for that. She has united with King Britt for a track called “A Light Within”, the title of which is apt for it hits that someone managed to get into that light, and now it is about to shine much brighter. This is a song that is exclusive in itself, and while it will not be on any forthcoming album, it does signify the coming (thus forthcoming) of an album. Fresh Selects understands Low Leaf’s truths, and on April 29th, more people will hear her with her new album Akashaalay.

REVIEW: Low Leaf’s “UNEARTHly”

 photo LowLeafU_cover_zps3669f5e3.jpg A number of thoughts went into my mind as I was listening to this, the fourth release from Low Leaf. UNEARTHly could not be a more appropriate title for this, especially considering the musical path she has gone on since the release of 2011’s Chrysalis EP (my review of which can be read by clicking here). If Chrysalis was the start of her blossoming/opening up to the world she has entered, it showed her as an incredible musical talent, both on instruments and vocally. She seems to be an explorer and is willing to test the limits on the world around her, which has allowed Low Leaf to experiment with the limitations she has placed on this journey. In descriptions of her music, she often talks about coming from somewhere and adding a bit of trippy philosophy about getting a chance to know herself and perhaps not allowing what she has learned to interrupt her creativity. If UNEARTHly is meant to describe her as being different, a foreign being or entity from another city/state/country/continent/universe/planet, then she has very much moved out of this world and and is happy and content with being left of center.

Lofty review intros aside, while Low Leaf could easily be creating some of today’s top pop and soul hits with the type of groove and not-so-unearthly funk, she has chosen not to, at least for now, as if to say “I don’t think the world is ready for this”, or at least stating in her songs that the world has to come to her first. As I first started listening to this EP, my first thoughts about the first three songs were “are these really songs?” They each sound like intros, interludes, or segments in need of songs with fuller structures. I would go back to them later, but at first I had felt the EP truly began with “Makeshift Altar”, which sounds like a song to listen to while watching the sun rise, that kind of early morning vibe. She is still in tube with the harp, but there’s a bit more digital manipulation with the instrument so that alone with proper playing, she’ll run it through effects or stutter the sound. “Rozey Sawrose” (“rosey sorrows”?) may come off like an oxymoron in the title, but musically it sounds very happy, festive, and expressive, as if someone was listening to the jazz band Hiroshima and decided to give them a unique vocal perspective. She drops verses in “yUdUyU”, sounding like a mixture of Ladybug Mecca (of Digital Planets) and Prince circa 1985/1986. “Hawkwizdom”, on the other hand, has her entering a very nice Soulquarians vibe, as if she found herself within the essence of Erykah Badu, extracted some of D’Angelo’s power, and found herself shining in her own afterflow. In fact, as I’m listening to this track that has the kind of flavor deep Madlib/Yesterdays New Quintet/Monk Hughes & The Outer Realm fans will appreciate, I found myself wanting to smoke some wicked hashish, and I don’t even smoke. It’s that intense, and it made me realize this. While I can imagine her making mighty fine radio-friendly hits, there is still that other side of Low Leaf that probably prefers extending her hand to the outer edge, only for her willing to fall and transcribing her emotions along the way. “Cosmic Energy*” has her adding a slight rock vibe with what sounds like a distorted Fender Rhodes, and I found myself comparing her to Nikka Costa or Res a bit, but realizing this music could/can only come from one person.

The last two songs on the EP come off as brief interludes/intros as well, but “Hidden Rainforest Supply” could easily be recrafted into a fully developed track, if she hasn’t done so already. So could “FujAkAkA”.

It’s weird. I respect Low Leaf’s music enough to allow myself to play armchair critic and say yes, this lady is fully capable of creating anything and everything she wants to create. The musical landscape is in need of someone like her, but by even saying that, it’s my way of wanting her to decorate the pop world with that level of talent. However, I also feel that the mainstream would eat her talents alive and turn her into someone she doesn’t want to be. Then again, the artist Low Leaf wants to be is somewhere between Georgia Anne Muldrow and Sun Ra, and I love that. I want that eccentric and eclectic side to keep coming, and I want to benefit from anything and everything she creates. Then again, she could easily pull a Sugar Ray and say “I’ll be this person to create hits, but I will always remain Low Leaf to satisfy my muse.” I think why I want her to stick to the accessible is because I would love for her to gain more attention, and yes, that does mean I want her to get attention for everything she does. Everything she does, however, isn’t going to please those who only accept the accessible, and UNEARTHly is far from being formulaic. The twists and turns in her sounds thrill me, and if she has created a mothership for herself, I want on, at least for awhile. Continue to take me on your journey.