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Léanie Kaleido – Photo Credit: Jono Harrison
The range, depth and database, so to speak, of singer-songwriters sometimes seems to be endless. Even if we look over to the British Isles, we likely couldn’t detail the tens of thousands of such artists that reside and thrive there, no matter how many hours were dedicated to such effort. But we do take effort to reveal such talent, one artist at a time, when possible. Today presents one such occasion as we introduce you to Léanie Kaleido with her video for ‘All The Things I’m Made Of’.
Her forthcoming album _How To Weigh A Whale Without A Scale’_was produced by Ride frontman Mark Gardener at his OX4 Sound Studio. Gardener also appears on one track with his guitar, while Chris Gussman plays guitar and Jono Harrison contributes guitar, drum programming, and synth bass.
While some may be quick to comment that Kaleido’s music shares elements characteristic of the musical output of artists such as Tori Amos, Lily Allen, Cat Power, or Bat For Lashes, there is a tenderness and pureness here framed in the braveness of revealing one’s soul to a beautifully raw and grounding melody.
Growing up as the daughter of much-revered artist Top Topham, the original lead guitarist in The Yardbirds and Blue Horizon recording artist, some of this melodicism and professionalism has obviously rubbed off on Kaleido. As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – thank goodness in this case.
This third album shows Kaleido to be a more mature songwriter than anything previous, cementing her as a consistently accomplished artist, unbound by the notion of what is ‘cool’ as she sits back and enjoys the thrill of writing unabashedly from the soul.
Kaleido, who grew up “snogging posters of Ride and wanting to be PJ Harvey,” has, over time, settled into the acceptance that her songs just come out the way they do. “Not especially cool,” she says, “but I’m really proud of some of my lyrics. Getting ‘salient verities’ into a song gave me a lot of satisfaction! Now Mark is a really good mate who knows what works best for my songs. And he has the best selection of green tea. I’m now a loose leaf connoisseur, thanks to him!”
Kaleido’s 50th year went off with a bang thanks to Gardener’s open-armed invitation to record at his Oxford studio. After four or five sessions throughout the less locked-down parts of 2020, and ten songs later, an album was born.
“The songs on this album represent the highs and lows I’ve encountered over the past few years, how I’ve dealt with them and what I’ve learnt through the process. It’s a mixture of love, regret, philosophies, humor and hope. I’ve always been a late developer, and so this to me feels like a coming-of-age album,” says Léanie Kaleido.
“Mark Gardener was determined to make my vocals and lyrics ‘the stars of the show’ and this has steered my sound to something more stripped back and atmospheric. Mark is a top bloke. He made me feel at ease straight away. The anxiety tablets I’d taken with me to stop myself exploding with fear weren’t needed and we got on famously from the start. It was such a laugh recording with someone who once had been the target of my ‘dribbly poster snogs’ and now is just a really good mate who knows what works best for my songs.”
‘All The Things I’m Made Of’ is now available as an immediate-gratification download upon ordering her How To Weigh A Whale Without A Scale LP. As of March 12, the full album will be released everywhere digitally and will be available across online streaming platforms. For now, it can be pre-ordered directly from the artist at Bandcamp
Léanie Kaleido – Vocals, piano, ukulele, strings, drum programming, synth bass
Mark Gardener – Producer, guitar, bass
Jono Harrison – Guitar, drum programming, synth bass (Codeine, Kite String Mantra)
Chris Gussman – Guitar and engineer on ‘Hat Thief’, engineer on ‘Mr Dragonfly’
All songs written by Léanie Kaleido. Copyright @2021
Cover photo by Jono Harrison
Cover created by Sara Truckel
And a few of her tracks from yesteryear:
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