Four piece Texas-based collaborative Ley Line is more than just your run-of-the-mill inspiring, “fempowered” project. These particularly soulful songstresses will be entertaining at the Black Fret SXSW on March 17, dazzling the audience with their multilingual folk music. If you get a chance to spend some time with their music, we highly recommend it.
We are lucky enough to have nabbed them for an Instagram takeover before their performance on Wednesday, so check in to our account starting around noon. Until then, here are some inspired words from the ladies themselves.
What was the first song or album that you remember hearing, and does that work of art have any influence on how you approach your music today?
Kate: “Blackbird” by the Beatles! The Beatles are a huge inspiration for us. They are songwriters and artists who wanted to explore different genres and embraced spirituality through their music. Also, their camaraderie and playfulness really resonates with how we move through the world of music together.
If you could perform three of your songs live for our audience right now, what would they be?
We would play “Senseless Way” because it reflects the challenges of this moment so perfectly and offers a lot of hope. “Oxum” is another of our favorites, it’s joyful and celebratory and everyone deserves to feel that. But it’s also an important reminder about how precious fresh water is and reminds us to continue to cultivate a relationship with our natural world. We also would play “We Saw Blue” because it’s the origin story of our band- it’s the title track off our latest album and the name of our upcoming Visual Album coming to you on May 14th.
Clearly, nothing compares to a live, in-person show, but these livestreams have fed the energy a lot of audiophiles and fans throughout the pandemic. What have you loved about performing digitally?
Maddy: It’s actually been really humbling to be present with the music and each other. We always loved playing house concerts and even got our start playing in yoga studios where the audience was completely silent. It reminds us of that intimacy and to have trust that the music is landing exactly where it needs to be.
Any thoughts on the digital SXSW experience this year?
Lydia: We’re really excited to be able to interact with the audience and new fans. It’s pretty special to get to experience our performance alongside the audience and SXSW has made a really awesome digital platform to be able to interact directly with the audience in the moment!
If you could order carryout from any place within 10 minutes of your home right now, where would you go tonight?
Fish tacos from Veracruz (in Webberville) every time.
There are so many amazing places to go when you want to get inspired. Where are you headed to next?
Emilie: Travel is a huge part of our inspiration, especially water. So we hope to get to the beach as soon as possible but until then you can find us singing by the river at Barton Springs.
What has been your favorite way to stay grounded during the pandemic?
Kate: Giving gratitude for the simple things, having a roof over our heads and food on the table. It grounds me to remember how much I have in just having my basic needs met during this time.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Subscribe to our Youtube channel to learn more about us, we’ve got a podcast, break down videos of our songs and live performances!
Just ahead of Acid Tongue‘s October full-length release Babies, the highly entertaining musical duo of Guy Keltner and Ian Cunningham – who are often joined by “friends” and operate out of New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle – has been busy, busy, busy. First premiering their track “If I Really Loved Her” via All Things Go, which boasted that “the band demonstrate both instrumental prowess and respect for their musical heritage as the sons of psychedelic forebears,” and they’re not wrong. These guys have got a handle on crooning, beautiful, psych sounds that could really drive the way you see your autumn if you choose to partake in some listening pleasure.
But we don’t just have the inside scoop on the album release. (Friday October 13th, mark your calendars.) We also have a little more insight on some of the tracks, their feelings on the music industry, and snacks in this quick (and fun) interview with Guy Keltner that happened in honor of their upcoming album release. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!
What is the first song or album you ever remember hearing, and who introduced it to you? Probably my mom playing Bob Marley or the Cranberries to us as kids. We had one of those old Technics sound systems with the tall boxy speaker cabinets. I’m sure we danced like goofy little kids to that stuff.
Was there a moment that it struck you and you realized you were going to pursue music, or did it kind of slowly evolve? I used to think I was going to be an astronaut. I started playing piano at five, but I wasn’t exactly keen on scheduled lessons and the homework that came with it. I finally got a guitar when I was 11 and I think that’s when everything clicked. I mostly just banged on it for the first year or so, but my parents set me up with this great teacher, an old session musician from Seattle named Al Kaatz. He’s really into soul, classic R&B and reggae, and helped shape my taste and how I approach music to date.
And did you choose the “post-menopausal” life, or did it choose you? (Referencing their “genre” categorization on Facebook.) Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a awhile, you could miss it.
“If I Really Loved Her” has such a beautiful sentiment behind it. Can we expect more of the same emotion behind the rest of Babies? The entire album is full of little easter eggs, relatable songs about daily life, but with a much deeper meaning to them. I’m not always just signing about the good stuff, either. There’s a lot of odes to life’s minutiae, thoughts on how mundane things can get. I don’t think people always want to hear about breakups and star-crossed lovers. There’s something beautiful about eating top ramen and being broke with your friends, talking about nothing and killing time.
“Talking In Your Sleep” struck our fancy with its title, and it’s one of our favorites off the release. Is this a love letter to a certain someone, or does it pull from many places? This song is about charisma. The type of people who spin webs and can turn a boring story into something compelling. We all have friends or co-workers or family that do this.
“Accidental Drug Use” threw us for a loop, one of those “well, that escalated quickly” songs when it comes to lyrics. It’s amazing. How was this one to work on in studio? That song was actually written the night Bowie died. I don’t usually get upset when one of these aging rockers passes away. They’ve lived epic lives, and lot of that generation is pretty old and has seen their best days already. Bowie’s new record was surprisingly great, though, and I felt this new excitement for his music after that. KEXP in Seattle did a Bowie day, a tribute to his tunes, right after that record dropped. A few days later, I’m hearing Bowie all day again and wondering “what the hell?”. When I heard he had passed, I was absolutely crushed and this song just spilled out.
Did you choose Friday the 13th as release date for any particular reason? Sometimes things just work out that way.
Do either of you have a favorite song off of Babies, or is that feeling applied to the entire work, since it’s your first release? I’m torn between “Humpty Dumpty” and “If I Really Loved Her”. Both of those fell into place so perfectly during the sessions, and they are such strange tunes in general. Ian is partial to “Accidental Drug Use” though. I really dig the way his drums turned out.
What has been your favorite memory together as a band so far? We did a short run in the Northwest recently, opening for De La Soul, playing Upstream Festival in Seattle, and generally having a blast with our friends when we were home visiting. Our bassist, Alessio, is from Italy and lives in Paris now. It was his first time in that part of the country and it’s such a different vibe than the rest of the US. We started laying down the tracks for our next LP, the follow-up to Babies. Just a really perfect trip.
How do you imagine people listening to this album? Everywhere. It’d be so cool to just have this be one of those LPs that synonymous with rock & roll during our era. One of those things you hear at dive bars, coffee shops, taxi cabs, wherever.
Guilty pleasure snack. Go! Chopped cheese.
What is your opinion of the modern music industry? It’s amazing that I have access to literally everything I could want to listen to in the palm of my hand. I’m a huge fan of Spotify and I think this is a cool era, we just have to slug it out and be persistent to make any money from our art.
Anything else you’d like to add? Go out and buy/steal/stream Babies as soon as you can. The vinyl looks really cool, too.
Babies is out October 13th. Keep up with Acid Tongue here.
Pi Jacobs is a beacon of light right now. Continually engaging with fans, she keeps her head up and continues to create and to breathe life into her newly released work. We were happy to sit down with her for our last SXSW 2020 Sofa Session.
P.S. Any wine or chocolate companies that want to collaborate with Pi Jacobs right now…
High school sweethearts The Bergamot have been building a digital repertoire of incredible content and art, and now is the perfect time for you to peruse the interactive space. While we enjoy their latest full length release and wait with bated breath for their upcoming documentary, melt into their inspiring words on our quick episode!
Ryan Cassata has dived head first into all things art and creation, especially, it seems, since this whole “social distancing” thing started. But the energy around music for Ryan is all the more palpable when you realize that his new album The Witches Made Me Do It just dropped. AND IT’S PHENOMENAL.
We caught up with one half of talented duo Donna Blue as the band was getting through customs to head back home to The Netherlands. Heavily impacted by the cancellation of SXSW, they spent a few days in Austin after the announcement hit. They calmed our nerves, and we’re going to spend the rest of lockdown listening to their music.
On Season 3, Episode 2 of The Imperfect Fifth Podcast | The Sofa Sessions, we chat with KP Hawthorn from The HawtThorns (partner duo with Johnny Hawthorn) about rearranging life right now and the incredible live performance opportunities online!