Instestellar music from a Filipina-American harp goddess
Name: Low Leaf
Where She’s From: Los Angeles, California
Genre: Harp-Core (forgive us for we have punned)
Sounds Like: An afternoon floating in the Elysian Fields, drunk on your own eternity
Low Leaf is a singer and composer from Los Angeles, of Filipino heritage, who makes experimental pop music on piano, synthesizers, guitar, beats and most prominently – a big, beautiful harp. Yep, that’s right, a motherflipping harp. The instrument can be heard on virtually all of Low Leaf’s tracks, its tinkling arpeggios and sweeping glissandi contrasted with glitchy electronic drums and effects. All of which performed and programmed herself – a pretty mind boggling accomplishment. Live, she plays the harp with one hand, the piano with another, and sings, all the same time. For proof, see the video below for her song “Take Time.”
Across the 3 EPs available on her Bandcamp page, Low Leaf’s sound fluctuates from singer-songwritery acoustic music and out-there electronic stuff (especially on her 2nd EP, Giga Gaia) to R&B-tinted slow jams. The music lives in a place with hip-hop culture, futurist spirituality, and avant-garde art collide in a way that could only happen in L.A. So it makes perfect sense when you find out that she played piano on Flying Lotus’ 2010 album Cosmogramma – there’s the same sense of blunted SoCal cool happening in both of their music.
As for the futurist spirituality part – in her interviews, Low Leaf keeps the conversation centered on the otherworldly. She speaks about herself as a vessel for divine vibrations and name checks the Egyptian warrior goddess Sekhmet. She has a Tumblr full of colorful outer-space fantasy artwork, and a Twitter filled with statements like “altho not all that absorbs light is pure, black holes may still b converted into stargates.” In a scene of cross-armed skeptics, she’s as unrepentantly New Age as can be, and that’s dope.
Big things are surely on the way for this interstellar citizen. In the meantime, listen to her recent 7-track EP, Alchemizing Dawn, featuring “June Gloom” (below), a shredding harp jam named after Los Angeles’ smoggy summers.