Gaelynn Lea | Deepest Darkness, Brightest Dawn

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Holiday: Classical Holiday: Folk Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Deepest Darkness, Brightest Dawn

by Gaelynn Lea

Gaelynn Lea, NPR Music's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest Winner, is excited to share this new album of her favorite Christmas carols. She has reworked these traditional melodies with the help of her looping pedal and atmospheric accompaniment by Al Church.
Genre: Holiday: Classical
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Angels We Have Heard on High (feat. Al Church)
3:42 $0.99
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2. Away in a Manger / The Friendly Beasts (feat. Al Church)
4:03 $0.99
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3. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
3:58 $0.99
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4. In the Bleak Midwinter
3:36 $0.99
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5. Holly and the Ivy / I Saw Three Ships
2:43 $0.99
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6. Angels from the Realms of Glory / Joy to the World (feat. Al Church)
2:55 $0.99
7. Silent Night (feat. Al Church)
5:52 $0.99
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8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / We Three Kings (feat. Al Church)
3:32 $0.99
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9. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
1:17 $0.99
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10. Hark the Herald Angels Sing / O Come All Ye Faithful (feat. Al Church)
3:38 $0.99
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11. Sussex Carol (feat. Al Church)
4:19 $0.99
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12. Love Came Down at Christmas / It's in Every One of Us
4:17 $0.99
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13. Carol of the Bells
2:28 $0.99
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14. Wexford Carol / O Christmas Tree
2:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been bewitching scores of fans with her experimental and ambient takes on fiddle music, an approach that incorporates her love of traditional tunes, poetry, and sonic exploration. Her work most recently won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, a competition drawing submissions of original songs from more than 6,000 musicians across the country.

Lea’s newest project, Deepest Darkness, Brightest Dawn, arrives in time for the holiday season and offers the musician’s beautiful and otherworldly takes on a collection of Christmas-themed songs. Lea’s violin playing is the centerpiece of the mostly instrumental set, which also includes her vocals on three tracks.

“Christmas has always been my favorite time of year--something about the snow and the shorter days; the twinkling lights and the music and the time spent with family—they all have a certain coziness and magic to them that just aren’t there the rest of the year,” Lea explains. “So as soon as I recorded my first full-length album in November 2015, I knew I'd want to tackle a Christmas album shortly afterwards.”

The album, recorded at Sacred Heart Music Center in Lea’s hometown of Duluth, MN, comprises all the holiday’s songs that she personally has enjoyed over the years. “I really love the old, traditional carols that have been around forever,” she notes. “Some of them will be very recognizable to people and a few are a bit more obscure. I wanted to make these old melodies come alive again by creating a listening adventure for people of all ages.”

Much as she did with the selections on her first solo album, which paid homage to traditional Celtic fiddle tunes, Lea utilized a unique approach to stamp the carols with her musical signature—a winding and haunting sonic underlay achieved with a looping pedal. “I used the pedal to craft layered, meandering tracks; and I often combine different tunes in unexpected ways,” she explains. “I also tried include a wide range of moods on this album.”

Gaelynn reunited with sound engineer Jake Larson, who worked with her on her first solo album, to record her new set, but chose to handle production duties herself—“I had a very clear vision of what I wanted it to sound like in the end.” Fellow Minnesota musician Al Church added guitar, Rhodes, and percussion on half of the tracks.

“It is my hope that people will see the finished product as a sonic journey through the Christmas season -- the darkness of winter contrasted with the bright light of hope,” says Lea. “I would love this album to become a new holiday tradition for families everywhere.”

Gaelynn has been performing throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin since 2006 with a number of different projects, her most active being an atmospheric alternative duo called The Murder of Crows with Alan Sparhawk of Low. Their original music was featured on the Sundance Channel's acclaimed drama "Rectify" in 2014.

On March 3, 2016 Gaelynn Lea was named the winner of NPR Music’s second-ever Tiny Desk Contest. The video entry of her original song “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun” rose to the top of over 6,100 submissions from around the nation, chosen as the unanimous favorite among the contest’s six judges.

Gaelynn Lea's musical reach has expanded significantly this year thanks to the Tiny Desk Contest. Currently she in the midst of a national solo tour, and this December she will be performing in Europe for the first time as support for Low’s Christmas tour.

In addition to performing, Lea—who has a congenital disability, Osteogensis Imperfecta (also known as “Brittle Bones Disease”)—is committed to advocacy for people with disabilities as well as positive social change. She is frequently booked for speaking engagements regarding this platform, as well as inspirational talks discussing her love of music.

Violin, Vocals and Looping by Gaelynn Lea
Guitar, Rhodes, Percussion and Vocals by Al Church
Recorded and Mixed by Jake Larson at Sacred Heart Recording Studio in Duluth, MN
Mastered by Robert Hadley at The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles, CA
Cover Art by Shawn Stigsell at Stigsell Creative in Duluth, MN

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