How to Weigh a Whale Without a Scale
Riding high at OX4
In 2020, Léanie joined musical forces with RIDE frontman Mark Gardener. Having listened to her previous releases, Mark loved her sound and invited her to record her new material at his OX4 Sound studios, based near Oxford. The result is ten gorgeous tracks, some moody and orchestral, others stripped-back piano ballads, and with the trademark quirky little ditty thrown in for good measure. All of them showcase Léanie’s extraordinary talent for writing unique, darkly humorous and emotionally raw lyrics.
This album marks a new chapter for Léanie, with its greater emphasis on sparser beats and more space to let her vocals take the lead role, something that Gardener felt was a crucial direction for her songs. Check out the title track here.
Recorded and produced by RIDE frontman Mark Gardener at his OX4 Sound Studios in Oxfordshire, this third offering puts Léanie’s lyrics and vocals at the forefront, stripping back production and focusing on the stories behind the songs.
On the heels of Karamelién, Quicksands & Shadows delves into richer, more intricate production but the piano-based melancholia and quirky, complex lyrics continue to shine through. The upbeat Cherry Reds, an ode to a pair of boots, is an infectious ear worm, and Firefly is uplifting and beautiful. Darker tracks like Switch Off Your Face and Nothing To Declare give the album its overall bittersweet feel.
Léanie’s début Karamelién is an amalgamation of songs written from her twenties onwards. She describes it as ‘a mixed bag’ and it includes three demos that were originally recorded in 1994. “I didn’t want to re-record them for the album as I felt they had a certain ‘indie spirit’ that I didn’t want to lose.” Karamelién was recorded with Mark Foster, Léanie’s longstanding guitarist, who she still works with from time to time and when family commitments allow.