Annie Leeth
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Annie Leeth

Athens, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Athens, Georgia, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Solo Electronic Ambient




"Annie Leeth- Heard"

On her brilliant debut record, the Athens, Georgia based violinist and composer Annie Leeth has created a listening experience that is at times enigmatic and at others a ghostly vision of the blurred lines that electronic and instrumental compositions continue to create just when one thinks they have heard it all.

On Heard, the University of Georgia music composition and performance major, Leeth reveals to the listener a personal symphony of growth both in its scope and construction. At times Heard exudes so much beauty it’s simply breathtaking. Leeth is the puppeteer and whatever instruments she touches: the violin, analog synthesizer, organ, voice, and thumb piano become here willing marionettes.

Heard opens with the breath of morning song “Meditation” which pits a solo violin, sawing its way slowly through an atmospheric haze of electronic mystification. It owes as much to violin auteurs such as Andrew Bird (the reverberating string-plucks) as to a litany of other composers of both classical and electronic veins, both Eric Satie and Brian Eno come quickly to mind.

But though the compositions beg these comparisons they are first and foremost original works that resonate with the splendor and heart that could only come from Leeth herself. As “Lōp” weaves in and out of classical and mired electronica one realizes they are in the presence of a true and original master of the form. They play on the forensic sensibilities of both pop and classical. Sometimes there are just no real ways to classify such genre bending. To call it electronica serves to divert from the contextual classic layering which is the very life-blood of each of these movements as they can only be called, as the word pieces seems too inane for these works.

​Even on the one such more noticeable artisan collage of “Electric Bach” which further serves to unveil Leeth’s wit and intelligence, as does the closing suite of “&I'll” and “N&S,” which sound as though they were wholly created by an act of photosynthesis. Anyone who has found themselves unmoved by music should surely hear Heard. It might just be the antidote to so many problems. - Jamie Robash

"Annie Leeth- Recurrence"

Athens, Georgia violinist, composer, and producer Annie Leeth’s debut record Heard was profound for its ability to meld genres of classical and electronica in ways that seemed boundless in their scope and in their creative passion to explore new ways of making music, a splitting of genres like the splitting of atoms. Not even a year later the hard-working violinist is back with a brand new offering Recurrence that once again sets out to explore the further borders and beyond of musical compositions.

Leeth opens Recurrence with the warm and sunny synthesizer vibes of “Latch.” Its reminiscent of the early ought synthpop resurgence lead by The Postal Service. From here we roll into Andrew Bird territory with the pin pricked experimental violin movements on “Memory.” It tears at the listener as it is both sad and beautiful at the same time. I found myself going back and forth every time I listened, wondering whether I loved it for its intimate sadness or its sheer beauty. From here we delve right into the strange beauty that is “Frogs.” Again we are in Andrew Bird style territory as the violin and looped experimentation continues to be a process that Leeth is really working on through this entire record.

In fact so much of Recurrence seems like a long running experiment on which Leeth is stepping more and more into the role of engineer and determining her sounds both from the inside and the outside. She is shaping them in new ways, playing with production values and manipulating sounds into a new musical language.

On “Harmony” she is somber and lets her violin do most of the talking, as from beneath comes the crashing of slow waves of ambience, while on “Offchance” you hear the first leanings towards what could possibly be called an actual pop song. It’s a catchy and wistful accomplishment, a new direction and one that again shows Leeth striving to squeeze everything she can out of her music, to distillate every drop. She continues this process on the ambling and ambient “Use” before returning to close out the record with a quiet sonata like synth piece called “Once.”

​With Recurrence Annie Leeth once again proves herself to be a major talent. She continues to pit the classical past against the ambient present and future all the way showing the symbiosis these two genres harmonize in so well. Leeth continues to captivate here and fans and soon to be fans will be delighted. - Jamie Robash

"Annie Leeth Blends Classical and Electronic Sounds in Debut LP"

“I did all the things,” local violinist and composer Annie Leeth says of her debut album.

Leeth is a fourth-year composition and performance major at the University of Georgia. While balancing school and work, she has kept music at the forefront. In March, she released an EP, Heard, and on Nov. 1, she’ll release a full-length, Recurrence. The album features six new originals, a collaboration with Athens’ Sephine and a reimagining of Andrew Bird’s “Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses.”

Written, produced and engineered by Leeth alone, Recurrence blends electronic and contemporary classical music into a minimalist package. Taking inspiration from Kishi Bashi, Steve Reich and anything “melancholy and chilled out,” says Leeth, her use of loops and soundscapes—textural heirs to the ambient drone of pioneers like Brian Eno—give listeners something new to consider.

Leeth says most of the original songs on Recurrence started as single loops and built from there. “I never really know if it’s gonna actually become a song, or if it’s just gonna just be an exercise in something,” Leeth says. After much improvisation and trial and error, the songs were finished when Leeth decided they were good enough.

Leeth says writing and crafting songs is a way to balance herself. During the process of recording, Leeth altered and obscured her source loops to make them more organic and less obvious. Throughout, ideas were added and subtracted as needed.

The resulting compositions are diverse, patient and often breathtaking. One standout is “Once,” an effects-heavy piano number. Leeth says it was a one-take recording. In the studio with a piano, Leeth decided to play around on it and record herself. Quickly, it became a song.

“Frogs” is a collaboration between Leeth and Sephine’s Will Anderson, who also plays with local country-influenced band The Pink Stones, which formerly counted Leeth as a member. Like many of the other songs on the record, there wasn’t really a plan, says Leeth—it just happened.

Leeth tracked, mixed and mastered Recurrence herself using programs like Logic and Pro Tools. “It was kind of an intentional thing. I wanted it to be like, ‘I’m not gonna let anyone else touch this,’” she says. While attending the Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, OH, Leeth said she spent much of her time in her room with her recording equipment. She also recorded parts of Recurrence at UGA’s on-campus studio.

As a student in UGA’s music business program, Leeth began interning and eventually working at Athens studio Chase Park Transduction, where she further developed her engineering and producing skills. Outside of sound engineering, Leeth has appeared as a studio and live violinist for artists like Faye Webster. Leeth says she hopes to continue collaborating with others and trying new things on both sides of the recording booth.

She also wants to spark a merger in Athens of classical and popular music. Leeth says one of her professors often talks about the lack of music students in bands, and she agrees that it’s an “untapped market” when it comes to the local scene. “As a whole, I think that it would be really great if the two were melded as a little bit more of a microcosm for the entire classical versus non-classical world,” Leeth says.

Ultimately, Leeth hopes listeners from all backgrounds will hear and appreciate the album. “I think that, ideally, enough people from the classical world would like it and enough people from the non-classical world [would like it] that it would be fine how it is,” she says. - Jessie Goodson


Mortal is the third album from Annie Leeth we will be reviewing here at Divide and Conquer. It’s also another exceptional effort that displays her talent well beyond just a looping violin. Leeth has made beautiful and original music but here she spreads her wings with more experimentation that delivers a wider array of sonic possibility.

The percussive aspects are more prominent with these songs. There is more of a bounce to the songs but it’s never a straightforward dance beat. A much better comparison would be an artist like Bjork or Anna Meredith.

I also got the impression she felt less inclined to have to utilize the violin as a focal point. This really made the songs breathe with a multi-patchwork type of visibility. Take for instance the opener “Heavy” which combines melancholy violin, glitches, bleeps and blips. Her vocals when they show up aren’t the focal point but felt like another element added to the mix. The violins swell towards the end of the song.

On “Tube Screamer” we get more of a lead vocal. The vocals are airy and whispered not too far from what you might hear from the group Lali Puna. As the song progresses the peaks come from layering which is beautifully orchestrated.

“Sherbert Sky” has a whimsical quality to it and is a certified highlight. The vocals and violin are an integral aspect often slowly exploding into clouds of atmosphere. It was one of the most emotionally powerful songs.

“Stuck With (feat. SAFETY SECOND) combines many disparate elements like vocal clips with flute that combine to a kinetic energy. I couldn’t help but think of elves and fairies. “Redo! Redo!” juxtaposes metallic percussive elements with layers of violin. The vocals on “Naïve” are fantastic. The lyrics and delivery here is dream like. I loved the line “when will it be so.” She closes with “Sherbert Sky Reprise” which puts the vocal harmonies upfront in the mix.

​Mortal is an album that succeeds because the production adds to the emotion. At the end of the day most of us want music to move us in some way. We want it to make us think and feel something and there is no doubt Mortal did both of those things for me. - Divide and Conquer


From Heard
Meditation 1
Electric Bach

From Recurrence: 
Behind the Valley 



Annie Leeth is a violinist and electronic musician. She has played violin since six and has always loved to make music. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019 with a bachelor's in Music Composition and Violin Performance. Now, she is a recording engineer at MAZE Studios in Atlanta and Chase Park Transduction in Athens, Georgia. She enjoys working both as a solo artist and as a session violinist in the Athens and Atlanta areas. 

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