Hear Actress Remix LEYA’s “Wave” via The FADER

British electronic musician Darren Cunningham, better known as Actress, has lent his expansive vision to “Wave,” the second track from the LEYA’s acclaimed March 2020 release, Flood Dream“When I heard and saw the video for “Wave” by LEYA I experienced one of those rare moments when time stood still outside of my own practice,” Actress told The FADER over email for the track’s premiere. The previously cyclic and lilting tune is stretched into an 8-minute landscape in Cunningham’s hands, a trickling, groaning, subterranean ebb that eventually opens skyward while never straying from the thread-like meditation that is a defining theme in LEYA’s work. The result is one of subtle grandiosity that remains grounded in liminal, slowly-unfolding movement. Listen to the track here (available to download).

Harpist Marilu Donovan and violinist/vocalist Adam Markiewicz are NYC-based group LEYA.
 The two work with and against the grain of tradition, mining intensity through alternate tunings, strange harmonies, and dreamstate operatic-like vocals. The resultant visceral experience underlies 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 follow-up Flood Dream (2020), exist alongside a 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 featuring the duo as actors. 2019’s Angel Lust, a collaborative EP with Eartheater, followed courtesy of legendary experimental label PAN. In 2020 they released “Antigone, a collaborative single with Liturgy and the first of a number of shorter releases for the year. Taken together, these recent works represent a distinct but wide-ranging perspective on underground movements in pop music and indicate myriad possibilities for the group moving forward.

Over a decade of releases Actress has built a reputation as a fine creator of cerebral abstract techno or R&B concrète; crafting pulsing kickdrums, jittering percussion and chopped sample loops into churning, rumbling tracks soaked in static. Earlier this month, Actress surprise released his new album 88 for free on Bandcamp and announced his next full-length with Ninja Tune called Karma & Desire. In 2018, Actress collaborated with London Contemporary Orchestra for LAGEOS, an album which sought to create a synergy between both live electronic and acoustic components, not just in the harmonies but in the way the traditional instruments were spliced into new hybrid instruments. As part of the process, Actress and LCO augmented traditional piano and created sounds from objects as varied as temple bowls and plastic bags. His most recent solo studio album was 2017’s AZD, a chrome aspect journey into a parallel world. One of the most prominent and singular voices in electronic music, in addition to his recorded work, Actress has been photographed by Wolfgang Tillmans, and the late celebrated photographer Lord Snowden. Other collaborative projects include White Cube artist Eddie Peake, Mehdi Lacoste, Dan Emmerson and Belgian visual artist Pierre Debusschere, as well as fronting campaigns for fashion brands Acne and Cav Empt.

Liturgy & LEYA Release Collaborative New Single “Antigone”

NNA Tapes is thrilled to release “Antigone,” a collaborative piece from transcendental black metal band Liturgy and NYC-based avant-pop duo LEYA. The track weaves two distinct threads: the bronzed grandiosity of Liturgy’s soaring, ecstatic swells of guitar and drums cedes to the ghostly roll of harp chords and electric violin/voice melancholy, then returns with propulsive roil to a climactic ending. The resulting song within a song takes the listener on a journey that is simultaneously exhilarating and somber, an expression of feeling that draws from two groups pushing towards opposite energetic poles of a balance between the sublime and damned.

PAPER Magazine premiered “Antigone” this week along with an exclusive Q&A with Liturgy & LEYA. The single is now available on Bandcamp.

THRDCOAST Premieres LEYA “Cats” Official Music Video

Our friends at THRDCOAST recently premiered a new music video from experimental violin/harp duo LEYA. “Cats,” directed by Corbin Ordel, creates a stunning and intimate setting for LEYA’s unique, otherworldly sound. Click here to watch & read a write-up by Gerard Marcus. Also available on our YouTube channel.
Here’s what director Corbin Ordel has to say about the video:

“I wanted to film Marilu and Adam from two places; the first would be outside, brightly lit, and loud, the second would be inside, dimly lit, and peaceful. These locations are a true representation of what their music does to me, both live and recorded. It’s a full on grounding machine, a peacemaker, music to make a pin drop audible inside your own head. I get chills when their natural holding of court makes every room they play completely silent, and how incredibly loud it gets with applause in their between songs. You feel the energy and blissful tension build up and you feel the release after the final notes are played. I wanted to represent this on film, in one shot, in a close up and personal way. The idea in my mind was to put a sheet of glass between us and the band, so as to keep our eyes directly on the musicians.

We walked out and cast our microphones to catch the sounds of the street, and the train, and the people, and their footsteps, and kept it rolling as we retreated inside to see Leya transform into performance, transitioning from talking to singing, walking to plucking, light to dark, everything to nothing, nothing to everything. We focus the light on the sounds of Adam and Marilu. These concepts cover our reason for filming in a place that is a very familiar setting for everyone involved in this video, outside is everything and on the inside is focus.”

LEYA’s debut album ‘The Fool’ is available NOW from NNA on Cassette & Digital formats.

LEYA ‘The Fool’ Album Stream + “666 (feat. Eartheater)” Music Video

We’re excited to share today that ‘The Fool,’ the debut album from avant-garde harp/violin duo LEYA is now streaming in it’s entirety courtesy of Noisey. Writer Colin Joyce picks the brains of LEYA’s Marilu Donovan and Adam Markiewicz through an email interview in order to explore the origins and processes behind their hauntingly beautiful sound. The article also debuts the voyeuristic new music video for “666 (featuring Eartheater),” directed, edited, and shot by Eartheater’s Alexandra Drewchin. Read the full story, listen to the album, and watch the video here.

“They occasionally indulge the celestial glissandos you might imagine, but more often they embrace a more complicated tonality and melancholic pace—the predominant moods seem to be confusion, uneasiness”

‘The Fool’ is officially available tomorrow, Friday May 11th, on Cassette & Digital formats.
Visit our Shop to purchase your copy – pre-orders are shipping now.

Announcing: LEYA ‘The Fool’ + “Sister” Official Music Video

Today we’re extremely excited to announce our first cassette release of 2018, the debut album by LEYA entitled ‘The Fool.’ LEYA is the new duo of Adam Markiewicz (violin, voice) and Marilu Donovan (harp, voice). Markiewicz and Donovan are New York City-based musicians who have collectively collaborated with a diverse array of forward-thinking music projects, including The Dreebs, PC Worship, Eartheater, GABI, and many more. Their recorded debut ‘The Fool’ is a collection of eight haunting tracks that experiment with alternate tunings of the violin and harp, and the unsettlingly beautiful effects that result in combining vocals with their string-based compositions. ‘The Fool’ also features three collaborative tracks that combine their sound with like-minded artists: Eartheater, PC Worship, and Sunk Heaven. Pre-orders and more information can be found here in our Shop.

We’re happy to share the first single, “Sister,” in the form of a music video directed by Kathleen Dycaico. Many thanks to our friends at SPIN Magazine for premiering the video and for the thoughtful write-up. Click HERE to check it out.

‘The Fool’ is up NOW for pre-order on Cassette & Digital formats in our Shop.
Available everywhere on May 11th, 2018.