MP3 leah andreone - veiled
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11 MP3 Songs
POP: Quirky, ROCK: Modern Rock
I'm black, I'm white, I'm the human race
Call me Eve, how's the apple taste?
In search of self, we all play many roles and wear many masks -- a fact that most people try mightily to ignore. But for 23-year-old singer/songwriter Leah Andreone, addressing that complexity isn't a curse, but a blessing, since it gives her the opportunity to express some decidedly disparate emotions in songs that run the gamut from starry-eyed idealism to deeply affecting depictions of twentysomething angst.
"When I was younger, I had this ability to turn off my emotions and to ignore any disurbing situations around me," says the San Diego native. "But I wanted to be more honest with myself and with the people around me. I think of that decision -- and the way it is reflected in the songs I'm writing -- as a sort of unveiling for me."
On her RCA debut Veiled, Leah Andreone reveals plenty. Using her supple, emotive voice -- a gorgeous instrument that has drawn comparisons to artists such as Kate Bush and Tori Amos -- she never fails to strike a nerve in her listener. Her incisive lyrics address subjects as varied as the stress of emotional unburdening (on the emotionally draining "Will You Still Love Me?") and the freshness of a new, pure love ("Imagining You").
"I write in the midst of pain, hunger, elation or passion, so there is a wide emotional spectrum on the album. I suppose 'Imagining You' is the single happiest song," she says. "The emotions that I have expressed in the past and now reveal are darker and uglier."
Just as importantly, she has made sure those lyrics are set in compelling melodic contexts. In conjunction with producer and collaborator Rick Neigher, she's created a series of nuanced melodies that run the gamut from the polyrhythmic swirl of "It's Alright, It's OK" to the hushed attraction of "You Make Me Remember."
Leah admits much of Veiled is decidedly autobiographical -- but notes that one of the collection's most riveting numbers, "Problem Child," is based on a relationship she witnessed between a boy and his parents.
"It's about a child abused who in turn will abuse to get what he wants."
Must be no boundaries, guess no one cares
What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine to get
I'll make you listen until you're blue
The contact hurts but at least I'm touching you...
"I think of it as a reminder that we all have to take responsibility for our actions and have to realize that we are all responsible to each other in the end."
That sort of self-scrutiny plays a big part in Andreone's writing, as evidenced by songs like the provocative "Hell to Pay," which she co-wrote with her older brother.
If there were no hell to pay
I wonder would you still need a god?
"I wanted to address the questions, if you knew you would not be held accountable for your actions, how far would you go? Would your conscience even exist?" she explains, while leaving her own answer slightly ambiguous.
For Leah, music has always been a refuge as well as a form of expression. She confesses that, as a child, she was often too shy to communicate in conversation and turned instead to writing (in a series of journals, still in her possession, that date back as far as first grade) and playing the variety of instruments scattered around her parents' home.
"From the time I was a little girl, I've been most comfortable when performing," she says. "When I was young, if something went wrong, I'd go to the piano and sing more often than I'd talk it out. Maybe it doesn't sound like the healthiest thing, but it really did help me grow as a person."
While Leah took classical piano lessons for many years, she spent most of her teens playing piano, both alone and in pickup bands with her three siblings, before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue a musical career in earnest.
"I was singing in clubs and bars around town at night and working in a diner on Sunset Boulevard during the day to make the rent," she recalls. "One day, I heard a group of label people at the table talking about trying to find new talent. Immediately, I ran over to the manager and asked if I could run home to get a tape. I sped home and back just in time to hand my tape to one of the guys as he was leaving the restaurant."
Leah watched from the safety of a phone booth where she was giving her mother play-by-play of the action as the executive popped the tape in and nodded appreciatively for a good minute. Then he removed it and drove away, leaving her feeling more than a little the worse for wear. The next day, however, the RCA rep returned to that little diner -- and it wasn't for the chili. Just a few months later, she was in the studio beginning work on what would be Veiled.
"We recorded the album in a very relaxed way, and in a laid-back environment. There were no walls and no bars, both literally and figuratively. I was free to explore parts of myself to which I needed to become reacquainted." The stint that produced the 11-song album left Leah, by her own admission, happy and satisfied.
That freedom rings from the grooves of Veiled with such intensity that it's virtually impossible not to get caught up in its ecstatic expression. Peel back just one layer and see for yourself.
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