LEYA—the New York City duo of harpist Marilu Donovan and violinist/vocalist Adam Markiewicz—today are sharing a delicate and dark new track “Glass Jaw (feat. Julie Byrne)” and announcing upcoming North American tour dates.
On “Glass Jaw,” strings and harp swirl in layers, stunning and sorrowful, grandiose-yet-detached in a way that recalls LEYA’s excellent late-2019 release with Eartheater, ‘Angel Lust’. Vocalist Adam Markiewicz sings low and drowsy in the first verse, followed by a revarant, ghostly refrain from Byrne and a haunting, whispery outro featuring the two together. Watery harp from Marilu Donovan punctuates and propels the short song, which tells a story of waste, a picture of destruction via indifference.
Julie Byrne shared some words she wrote down the day the collaboration took place:
woke up to the sight of the room
Long after becoming the sound
Spelling out the chord
The moody afterglow
The embers of the song
There are nights worth remembering
LEYA works with and against the grain of tradition, mining intensity though alternate tunings, strange harmonies, and dreamstate operative-like vocals. This experience is one of beauty but spans many imperfect worlds.
LEYA has released a steady volume of work in several years. Their two albums via NNA Tapes, The Fool (2018) and its critically acclaimed follow-up Flood Dream (2020), exist alongside a wide range of collaborations. In 2018, the group wrote and performed a full-length soundtrack to I Love You, an erotic film directed by Brooke Candy and produced by PornHub that also features the duo as actors. 2019’s Angel Lust, a collaborative EP with Eartheater, followed courtesy of experimental label PAN. In 2020, they dropped a number of shorter releases including “Antigone,” a collaborative single with American black metal band Liturgy, a remix of their Flood Dream track “Wave” by British electronic musician Actress, another remix of the album’s penultimate track “First Way” by the venerable Drew McDowall (Coil, Psychic TV), and a collaboration with Deli Girls for their new album BOSS called “barrier to love.” Composer/Filmmaker Christina Vantzou delivered a final mashup remix of Flood Dream’s “Mary” and “ABBA” in May 2021. The duo provided live scoring for a Hood by Air fashion show curated by Surf Gang member Babyxsosa in June 2021. From their releases LEYA have earned acclaim from Bandcamp Daily, Brooklyn Vegan, Consequence, Document Journal, Esquire, FACT, The FADER, i-D, PAPER, Noisey, Pitchfork, Spin, and The New York Times, among many other media outlets.
LEYA has toured extensively since 2018, with over 300 dates played across North America in two years (prior to canceling over 50 dates in 2020 due to the pandemic). They have performed at Le Guess Who?, Bowery Ballroom, Market Hotel, and recently provided live scoring to a Hood By Air fashion show curated by Surf Gang rapper Babyxsosa. The group also held a recording residency at Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works in July 2020.
February 24 @ Market Hotel, Brooklyn, NY
March 4 @ Collision, Pittsburgh, PA
March 5 @ Cafe Bourbon St., Columbus, OH
March 6 @ The Burl, Lexington, VA
March 7 @ The Sinkhole, St. Louis, MO
March 9 @ Cult Love House, Tulsa, OK
March 10 @ Opolis, Norman, OK
March 11 @ Dallas Theater, Dallas, TX
March 13 @ Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, Denton, TX
March 15-19 @ SXSW, Austin, TX
March 22 @ How Bazaar, Gainesville, FL
March 23 @ Timucua Arts, Orlando, FL
March 25 @ Center For Subtropical Affairs, Miami, FL
March 26 @ Hooch and Hive, Tampa, FL
March 28 @ Down the Hatch @ Underground ATL, Atlanta, GA
March 29 @ Static Age Records, Asheville, NC
March 30 @ Joe 2, Baltimore, MD