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Laurie Levine: Canyons

Don’t Call me Moses launches Laurie Levine’s new solo album ‘Canyons’, in Cape Town

Laurie Levine’s new solo album, ‘Canyons’ delves deep into the recesses of longing and nostalgia, with a burning hope as the undercurrent that gently washes through the record. Dark at times, introspective and pierced with a sublime beauty, the songs reverberate and shimmer with otherworldly elegance and intelligence. While some songs are intoxicating with ominous lyrics and black staccato beats, others glow with optimism and a rich lyricism that is bought home by the intimacy of Levine’s vocal delivery.

Canyons, the title track of the album, leads the listener into a world where ‘You can hear silence/and feel a prayer sung on the wind’. This is a terrain of stark untouched beauty and is the key metaphor of the album. Speaking about the song and about the album as a whole, Levine says that it came from a place of yearning- for the simpler, majestic and timeless world of the great outdoors where one can ‘breathe free’ and find ‘a piece of hope in the change of the tides/a piece of grace in the moon that will rise’. This overarching sense of nature as a healing force that offers respite from the cold hard edges of reality is sprinkled throughout the album. Also present are the murmurings of memory, the contours of faith and hope, and the hypnotic danger and beauty of love and desire.

The 11- track record was recorded over a one year period at the home studio of producer Barry Berk in Johannesburg. Due to the fact that it was such a big departure from her previous work, Levine and Berk spent much time exploring the ‘sound’ of the album, experimenting with different synths and seeking out an original voice for the album. The music was also shaped by the talents of the guest musicians who include Isaac Klawansky (Shadowclub) on drums and beats, Franco Schoeman (ISO) on bass and Zam Boney (Slashdogs) on guitar amongst others.

Despite the departure from her previous style and the movement into a new sound scape, what remains are the unforgettable and poignant melodies and the emotionality that define Levine as a songwriter. Levine has maintained the integrity with which she has come to be associated and ‘Canyons’ marks an exciting, bold and brave step into a new world.

Don’t Call Me Moses is a platform for the celebration and recognition of local female musicians and artists. Lu Cherry, the founder of this passion project, says she is passionate about music and seeing more female talent under the spotlight in South Africa.  We have no shortage of phenomenal talent, but somehow stage line ups are still dominated by male artists. Don’t Call Me Moses aims to change that…

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