Leonard Mynx
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Leonard Mynx

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Folk


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"Words are the centerpiece of his music"

Leonard Mynx is following up his debut EP with another free album entitled Le Petit Mort. Offering free music to find your fanbase was a marketing tactic also used by Joe Pug and it undoubtedly helped him in with ticket sales as he started touring. Perhaps Mynx has a similar strategy.

His previous album, Vesper, was sparse and mostly acoustic. This effort called on many Portland musicians, whose other projects include Norfolk and Western, The Decemberists, M. Ward, Horse Feathers, Loch Lomond, Audie Darling, Laura Gibson, Jolie Holland (and many more), to give his songwriting more flavor.

I’ve listened to Le Petit Mort for a full week and, despite the title, it nods its brim to music that is truly American in the vein of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. You can hear three of my favorite tracks from the album below and look for an update from us when it’s released for free this Spring.

For a free copy of Mynx’s first album, Vesper, you just email leonardmynx[at]gmail.com and provide your name, mailing address (if you want a cd), or email address. - Hear Ya

"Mynx is on to something singular"

Released late last year, the haunting song “Valley of Sickness and Death” by Portland-based singer-songwriter Leonard Mynx, puts Mynx’s poetic, lyrical prowess front and center as the music builds around a sparse, rolling, acoustic guitar. I was born in a ghost town, the year of the landslide, in a hotel room beside a funeral pyre, he sings. The track opens a debut album, Vesper, which is a simply and beautifully crafted whole. Lyrically and musically, Mynx will inevitably draw comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, but no matter the genealogy of his material there is no doubt Mynx is onto something singular. He has quickly followed up with a seriously limited edition, self-released sampler, Le Petit Mort, of which only 250 copies have been pressed. It’s culled from a collection of 25 songs recorded with his friend Adam Selzer (M. Ward, Norfolk and Western) at Type Foundry studio in Portland. For the sessions “Lots of great and talented Portland musicians helped out” (artists whose other projects include The Decemberists, M. Ward, Horsefeathers, Loch Lomond, Jolie Holland and many more). Le Petit Mort continues his moribund themes, but the songs are far more layered, textured and musically complex. There is a new full length, Son of the Famous So and So due for release in April, but until then here are two tracks from Le Petit Mort.

Read more: http://www.thefader.com/2010/01/14/leonard-mynx-ball-of-fire-and-the-bones-mp3s/#ixzz14Lc0zaVQ - The FADER

"FOR A LOT MORE PRESS ON LEONARD MYNX...GO TO http://leonardmynx.com/press.html"

Leonard Mynx - Website - http://leonardmynx.com/press.html

"One of those rare folk singers who manages to suck you in at first listen"

I have been dying to write about the Portland-based, folk-artist Leonard Mynx for weeks, and I didn’t want to wait until April to finally do so.

Leonard Mynx is one of those rare folk-singers that manages to suck you into his music at the first listen. It would be easy for me to compare him to other such artists. He is capable of the quiet story-telling of Bob Dylan, the atonal rantings of Tom Waits, and even the twang-tinged melodies of John Prine. But I’ve always found such comparisons to be kind of empty, and always a bit off target. To say that he has qualities of each of these artists only highlights his uniqueness from all of them.

Leonard Mynx’s first album, Vesper, is a collection of quiet, story-telling songs each brimming with soft guitar, sobbing harmonica, and subtle horns occasionally interrupted by raucous drum-beats and well-placed feedback. All woven together with vivid lyrics and lively vocals. Recorded with his friend Adam Selzer (who has also worked with M. Ward), Vesper is one of those albums that is impossible to listen to just once. And just to make sure that everyone listens to this album at least once, Mynx is giving away downloads of his songs. All you have to do is email him at leonardmynx@gmail.com…so get on it!

And for as good as Vesper is, I find myself more excited to hear the tracks from his upcoming album Le Petit Mort. While Vesper maintains an air of quiet folk, Le Petit Mort is a demonstration of the artist’s depth and development. Recorded again with Selzer, this album is a veritable playground for Portland-based folk artists (i.e. Rachel Blumberg, Laura Gibson, etc.), and it is clear that Mynx has let his imagination, and his creativity run wild. Whether it’s the lovely vocals of “Miss You,” the engulfing noise of “Maybe,” or the quiet mystique of “Song With No Name,” each song presents the listener with something entirely new…something entirely unique…and something always exciting.

It is clear that Leonard Mynx has only just begun to experiment, but he has shown a willingness and an enthusiasm to do so, and this is what makes Le Petit Mort so exciting. The album is set to come out sometime in the late spring, and judging by the fact that the snow has finally melted and the sun is out, that can’t be too far away. Keep an eye out!
- The Needle and The Groove

"Arresting and poetic...9/10 stars"

It is not easy to define what lifts this remarkable debut above those of the great rafts of other young, male singer songwriters influenced by the American storytelling and songwriting traditions, but suffice to say whatever "it" is, Leonard Mynx has in spades.

From the wonderful opening track "Valley of Sickness and Death" Mynx begins to spin his alluring back story, the opening couplet placing him directly into the tales of lonely travellers who litter the timeless American songbook ("I was born in a ghost town / the year of the landslide / in a hotel / beside a funeral parlour"). The song then follows him to a card shark's table, down spooky railroads and into Texas prisons. Mynx, who grew up half a mile from Mark Twain's grave, seems to be creating his own myths around himself and his characters, not unlike a young Dylan. As with Dylan maybe we are not meant to delve too closely into what is fact and what is fiction.

It is to Mynx's credit that the rest of the album more or less lives up to these auspicious beginnings. The lyrics are full of arresting and poetic images, with the notable exception of "Horse", a matter of fact depiction of heroin addiction. Lovelorn track "Northwest Passage" is a sad lament for a Dylanesque mystery woman who he wants to let him stay so that "for just one night / I could call this house a home" and maybe break the cycle of ceaseless onward travelling. There are also long, narrative songs, such as the grim tale of "Mary" ("trying to chase the wind / whilst tethered to a stone") which wouldn't have been too cheerful for Townes Van Zandt, and "Robert" the epic tale of a soldier brother who didn't return home from the war. It is so hard to do this kind of song well (ditto "The Wine", a delicate saga of hard lives and hard luck), to make a listener actually listen and to care. Throughout this record Mynx succeeds. Vesper, recorded with M Ward collaborator Adam Selzer, is a remarkably self assured and fulfilling record. - Americana UK

"Tales of desperation, death and heartbreak over slow heartbeat tempos..."

Greg Cardi has spent the last year in Portland quietly making a name for himself within the Portland music scene. Playing under the name Leonard Mynx, Cardi crafts elegiac tracks that pull in the influence of folk, blues, country and pop, rolling out tales of desperation, death and heartbreak over slow heartbeat tempos. He recently self-released his second full-length, Vesper, a gloomy but enthralling collection of songs recorded with Adam Selzer (Norfolk & Western, M. Ward), which he will be touring behind across the U.S. over the next few months. Before he left, I was able to sit down with Cardi at Fresh Pot on N Mississippi and find out what inspires this unique artist’s work.

How did you get started playing music?

I think just how every teenager gets started, one of my friends played guitar I thought it was pretty cool. No one in my family was musical at all. My uncle bought me a guitar once when I was young gave me a disc of Smithsonian box set of old blues. I heard guys playing that stuff, and I wanted to know, "How can one person make this much noise with just one guitar?" That is pretty much what set me in that direction rather than the rock path.

What is it that attracted you to those old blues singers?

The emotion of it all. It's so raw and I think that the fact that it's not clouded up. It's just a voice and an instrument you get a lot of the impact of a song that way.

So when did you then start playing your own music?

I Just started playing out about a year and a half ago. I didn't really every play in bands, which when I started playing in bands was kind of a detriment, not having to keep time with people. I just started going to open mics and then I decided I wanted to book some shows.

A lot of the songs that you write are fictional. Where do you get the inspiration for these songs?

With "Robert" - the long one about the kid who dies in the war - I was listening to NPR right around when I first moved to Portland. It was a year after the whole "Mission Accomplished" thing, and they were doing a story about how it had been the deadliest month in Iraq for US soldiers. The whole song came from there. I didn't know anybody that went over there so I was just trying to take on the role of a family member affected by that because they had people on the radio - family members - talking about losing somebody. As for "Mary"... when I housesit for people, I end up catching up on some TV. I ended up seeing one of those crime shows was one where they're investigating a corpse. This was my take on the modern crime investigation genre.

Do any of your songs come from some place personal or from personal experience?

They're mostly fictional on this album, but I definitely have personal songs. A lot of them that express some doom and gloom on certain songs, or are kind of just a collection of images than a story. A lot of that has personal stuff in it. General stuff, not like a particular thing like a mood you get in once a while when you're swamped with day to day. I think I listen to the news too much. I'm not gloomy at all. People who hear this music assume I'm dark, but it's the total opposite. Maybe that's why I'm not, I get a certain amount of that out through the songs. - Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)

"This album is highly recommended"

It takes three seconds of Le Petit Mort’s opening track, “Sing Radio,” to identify Leonard Mynx’s obsession with Bob Dylan. The slightly funky backbeat, the harmonica, the hollow-room sound—then comes Mynx, singing and wheezing to a tune that sounds a touch like the Band’s “The Weight.”

But over the course of Le Petit Mort—a sampler of new Mynx material limited to 250 handmade copies—one hears many more influences: Tom Waits (“The Bones”), Leonard Cohen (“Maybe”) and, OK, more Dylan (“Song With No Name”). More importantly, we hear Mynx himself. The Portland singer-songwriter, who released the pretty but macabre Vesper early this year, was already a talented lyricist—Le Petit Mort makes huge strides on two other fronts: studio savvy and overall temperament.

For Le Petit Mort (a French phrase meaning “the little death” which is often used as a metaphor for orgasm), Mynx found himself an impressive band (a stripped-down version of Norfolk & Western), one which he takes full advantage of here. It’s evident on the epic “Ball of Fire,” which seems to lift skyward at its midpoint, with engines engaging, whistling and screeching. The wall of sound returns on “Maybe,” a hell-bent two-note noise-folk piece that grows more dissonant as it progresses.

And though the themes are dark (“Ball of Fire” is about an old vet’s acceptance of death and “Maybe” focuses on death, God and the possibility of God being dead), Mynx has moved from a narrator repeatedly crushed by cruel fate to one obsessed with the cruelty of chance. And that’s almost enough sunlight to work up some half-assed optimism in a duet with the great Laura Gibson: “Maybe it’ll get better come Sunday morning/ Maybe it’ll change in the middle of the month,” he sings to her. “You know better, but I know you.” I still wouldn’t want the guy saying grace at my Thanksgiving dinner, but his album is highly recommended. - Willamette Week

"One To Watch - 2010"

ONE TO WATCH IN 2010 - Portland's Leonard Mynx is one of those artistic souls whose music I find myself listening to much more than even I realize. His first album Vesper (which the artist is now giving away for free) is in the car. His new demos are playing on the media player as I type these words... And, it's playing in my head. A lot. I am very much hoping that 2010 and - for the near future we begin looking a little more closely about the art and music we digest. Leonard Mynx is making really authentic, in-touch music. - Ryan's Smashing Life


Vesper - 2009 - self-released
Le Petit Mort (EP) - 2010 - self released
Son Of The Famous So And So - January, 2011 - Dustbin Records



Leonard Mynx grew up a half mile from Mark Twain's grave. A half mile past that, an old prison of brick and iron loomed over the headstones and the houses of the town. Its siren marked the hours of the day. During the Civil War, along the river that had served as the life of the town was the site of the most infamous Union prison camp, or death camp, as it was referred to in Dixie. Once a bucolic and charming little village, in the late twentieth century the town was plagued by floods, prisons and the death of American industry until it rotted and all but died out. It was during this period that Leonard Mynx served his sentence there, until finally, he escaped...

In Portland, Oregon, Leonard Mynx teamed up with fellow journeyman Adam Selzer (Norfolk and Western, M Ward) at his world renown Type Foundry Studio to produce an album of stunning songs titled "Vesper".

Mynx then returned to Type Foundry with Selzer and many more talented musicians to record over 30 songs. A sampler of this material entitiled "Le Petit Mort" was released in early 2010 and has received even more love than "Vesper".

In January, 2011, Leonard Mynx will release "Son Of The Famous So And So" on Dustbin Records. The release of "Son Of The Famous So And So" was curtailed for a while in 2010 after Leonard Mynx was injured in a hit and run car accident in Portland, OR. The accident left him unable to perform for six months and he had to delay the release of the record as well as cancel a national US tour. He has since returned to form and is touring in early 2011 and heading back into the studio with Adam Selzer to record a new batch of songs, written while he was recovering.

Leonard Mynx will again be calling on many of his friends to help him out with the recording sessions. some of their other projects include, Norfolk and Western, Horsefeathers, Jolie Holland, The Decemberists, M Ward, Laura Gibson, Carcrashlander, Loch Lomond, Weinland, Audie Darling, The Alialujah Choir.

In addition to sharing bills with many of the groups above, Leonard Mynx has performed with Damien Jurado, Port O' Brien, Papercuts, Sean Hayes, Y La Bamba, Joe Pug, Nick Freitas, Nick Jaina, Blind Pilot, Justin Townes Earle and many, many more. He has also played at venues of all stripes across the US and Canada on two national tours in the last year and a half, a sampling of which include, Doug Fir and Mississippi Studios (Portland) Hotel Utah and Bottom of the Hlll (San Francisco) State Room (SLC) The Basement (Nashville) TT The Bears Place and Middle East (Boston) Rockwood Music Hall (NYC) and many more. Mynx has also performed at several colleges and universities, house shows, truck stop parking lots, VA Hospitals, coffee shops, bars with wire cages, campgrounds and the like.

As always, if you would like more information on Leonard Mynx, feel free to contact: