Lawrence & Leigh
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Lawrence & Leigh

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"More from Lawrence & Leigh"

Lawrence & Leigh’s latest release from their EP Hills and Masts is the lush, dream-pop of Glow.

Painstakingly constructed using vintage instruments and subtle synths, the song begins with an exploratory intro built on overdubbed choirs of the duo’s voices before transforming into a beat heavy pop anthem and then ending in 1960s style indie jazz with driving piano, brushed drums and doo-wop backing vocals. It is another example of their consistently beautiful song craft – a sepia tinged snapshot of multilayered instrumentation and free-spirited harmonies. Wonderful.

The accompanying video is also well worth a viewing – it is a work of stunning visual art that brilliantly complements the shifting moods of the song. It features stop-motion animation and breathtaking desert scenes. We follow the protagonist, a puppet (manipulated so that his “still” face seems to somehow change expression appropriate to his situation), as he moves through a series of beautiful worlds, each with its own unique style and purpose.

Watch it here: - Mad Mackerel

"ALBUM REVIEW: Lawrence & Leigh – “Odyssey Vol. III – Hills and Masts”"

If you like your music in short, easily inhalable chunks which don’t require much thought in the listening process, Lawrence & Leigh are not for you. On Odyssey Vol. III: Hills and Masts, the third part of their ambitious three-part EP series, the Brooklyn songwriting duo takes chamber folk to expansive new heights. If you’re willing to listen to something that provides its reward to those who are patient and willing to slowly peel these songs like an aural onion, there’s a great deal to savor.

With a sound which melds the pop smarts of Elliott Smith and Over The Rhine’s Karen Bergquist with melodies that twist and turn, taking you on an aural journey. The Smith comparison is heard most on the wonderful “Heeled Shoes,” with a hauntingly simple guitar line that brings immediate comparisons to the slow build of “2:45 a.m.”

Meanwhile, “Glow” builds its way expansively through layers of melodic chamber pop, each part shifting and merging until late in the proceeding we get to hear the real hooks dig in: “down here in the shadows I’m without my mask, and everything you’ve wanted could be in your grasp,” Andrew Kalleen sings, before the song morphs from funky pseudo disco into something Burt Bacharach would love, complete with hauntingly catchy vocals from Kristin Stokes that sound like Manhattan Transfer flew in for a studio sound-check. All this in six minutes of musical bliss.

It’s not an easy album to fall in love with, but give these six ambitious songs enough time to soak in and you’ll understand why this duo is making waves in the world of folk music. It’s a challenging recipe for meaningful music, and given the chance, I’ll take ambition and creativity over ease of consumption any day. - Jonathan Sanders - Hear, Hear!

"Album Review: Lawrence & Leigh Odyssey Vol III: Hills and Masts"

Brooklyn, NY-based Kristin Stokes and Andrew Kalleen have begun their ambitious vision of a three-part Odyssey by starting with the end in mind, the six-track Vol III. Their goal is to eventually combine all three EPs into an 18-track release. There isn't a moment on Hills and Masts that isn't engaging, although highlights include the nearly six-minute-long "Glow" and the spine-tingling "Chelsea Nights." The record's hypnotic effect carries you through Stokes's operatic indulgences, visceral bluesy wails and '60s doo-wop backing vocals. These elements add nostalgic magic to the record's fuzz-saturated ambience ? embellished with echo-y effects, distorted clanging and street buzz recordings ? dropping you into an ethereal dream that weaves through generations of sounds. You'd even swear that Elliot Smith appeared momentarily to haunt "Heeled Shoes." - Exclaim Magazine

"NYC bands to fall in love with: Lawrence and Leigh"

Meet the strange and wonderful Lawrence and Leigh. When I first saw photos of this group, I thought.. "...another Brooklyn folk duo." 30 seconds into "Glow", these preconceptions were immediately abandoned. One thing they're not is a typical folk duo. Whatever magic these two share together as singer-songwriters is matched equally by an intense interest in studio trickery. Complimenting their soaring harmonies with collage effects bordering on musique concrete, Lawrence and Leigh's sound is brimming with ideas that keep obvious categorizations at bay. The music of Andrew Kalleen and Kristin Stokes seems to reinvent itself after every listen, so be prepared to spend some time with these tracks as they move from bare acoustic arrangements to electronic 4-on-floor grooves and back again in epic and rewarding proportions. Head on over to their myspace where you can stream all tracks from their newly released 6 song EP Odyssey Vol. III: Hills and Masts. No, you didn't miss anything... they have decided to release the third volume of this odyssey before releasing the first two. That's just something these arty musicians are into. See them at SXSW at Revolution Bar on 03.17 - Mike Levine (@goldnuggets) - The Deli Magazine


Odyssey Vol. III: Hills and Masts



If Andrew Kalleen wasn’t a classically trained musician, one wonders if a single note on Lawrence & Leigh’s debut EP “Hills and Masts” would fall within the western canon-- such is his fascination with the body and shape of noise. Yet, this fascination with sound is filtered through the passion Kalleen and Stokes feel for the ripe relation of harmony and the melodic nuances of rock, pop, jazz, soul-- a passion that pushes the siren call of the atonal avant-garde from center stage until becomes more of structuring influence, a motif, a fascination that rather than stealing the show feeds and nurtures the songwriting-- which is at the core of what this album really is-- songs, written and recorded. Really, really well.

If there is a quintessential trade-off between the extremes of emotive timber that we hear in drone and noise rock, and the comfort of more comprehensible soundscapes, Lawrence & Leigh show us that you can have your cake and eat it too-- and yet, we’re never quite made comfortable. Billy Holliday meets Fleet Foxes meets Sigur Ross meets-- well, say they all meet up under the Williamsburg JMZ subway line. When Kalleen’s mode waxes a little ragged, Stokes vocals often help soften things a bit. Just a spoon full of harmony helps the melody go down? Thank god for buckets.

Kalleen says, “all of the melodies are written without text. Then I
use the rhythm of the line to find where accents in the text should
be, and only use text that flows in that rhythm.” How does the
melancholy of “Healed Shoes” articulate the depression that the verses later develop? How does the major lift precipitate the courage that the song’s protagonist gathers to walk away from a dead intimacy? It’s as if the music is a a soundtrack to feeling thinking being words that move through time on their own. This is not three-chord rock. Like a Jungian archetype, the music on its own recalls some elemental, interminable story, insists that it is rooted in some ancient, incomprehensible structure, and demands that the spoken story actualize itself, that the lyrics stands up and say something that helps us understand what it means to be human being. And they do.

For Stokes and Kalleen, two west-coast transplants, “Hills and Masts” cement the notion that Brooklyn is their creative home. There’s a moment of Musique concrète sound composition filled with Brooklyn street noise that drifts towards a Tom Yorke ballad before tumbling towards a spiraling harmony of epic, God-Speed-You-Black Emperor proportions. And again-- just before the brink, we’re pulled back to earth by a musicianship that one might even label a practical sensibility-- if a six-song EP that spans two coasts, half a century of American musicianship, and took over a year to record can at all be called practical.