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Gaelynn Lea | Learning How to Stay

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United States - Minnesota

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Rock: Folk Rock Folk: Folk-Rock Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Learning How to Stay

by Gaelynn Lea

With album credits to the likes of NPR’s Bob Boilen, Low’s Alan Sparhawk, HALEY and DOSH (to name just a few), Gaelynn Lea has assembled a crack team of spirit guides for her step in to the world of rock on her new record, "Learning How to Stay".
Genre: Rock: Folk Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bound by a Thread
3:58 $0.99
2. Dark to Light and Dark Again
3:37 $0.99
3. I See It Too
2:33 $0.99
4. Jim and Judy's Wedding
2:45 $0.99
5. Lost in the Woods
2:06 $0.99
6. The Last Three Feet
5:36 $0.99
7. Someday We'll Linger in the Sun
3:33 $0.99
8. I Wait
2:51 $0.99
9. Grace and a Tender Hand
3:03 $0.99
10. Metsäkukkia
6:30 $0.99
11. Moment of Bliss
5:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"It has been a thrill for several years now to know and watch Gaelynn Lea go from violin player to singer/songwriter and sonic innovator to now producer and bandleader. Her talent and zeal for life has been the anchor all along and 'Learning How to Stay' is her arrival as a full and great American artist."

- Alan Sparhawk, LOW

"Gaelynn Lea’s new record is an audio photograph of what Gaelynn is like in person: empowering, deeply talented, and 100% heart. Her music, like herself, is so much greater than the sum of its parts. And you don’t need to be acquainted with Gaelynn to appreciate the beauty and power of her songs, but I wish you could meet her - she’s a good soul, and she’s made a fantastic record. You should hear it."

- Charlie Parr

"'Learning How To Stay' is an explosive, epic work. A record this emotive hasn't come out of the Midwest since Bon Iver self titled. Gaelynn Lea is a master of the craft, an artist in the purest sense of the word."

- Mark Mallman

Until this point Gaelynn Lea has presented most of her songs using only a few tools: a violin, a voice, and a looping pedal. But for her latest release, "Learning How to Stay", Gaelynn Lea enlisted the help of some musical friends to bring her new album to life. Several of Minnesota’s heavy-hitters—including Al Church, Dave Mehling, Marty Dosh, Andrew Foreman and Alan Sparhawk—lent their creative influence and musicality to this recording. The result is a powerfully emotive effort of confidence and purpose which captures the poignancy and presence of Gaelynn Lea’s crafted repertoire.

"Learning How To Stay" is an 11-song collection that runs the gamut sonically from pensive and luscious to aggressive and intentioned, from folk to decidedly pop, and even includes a couple of traditional fiddle tunes. Undoubtedly the connecting thread of this album is Gaelynn Lea herself. With her singular voice and deeply-affecting violin, she guides the listener through a journey that explores the contrasting nature of existence: dark and light, birth and death, anger and forgiveness, sorrow and joy. Learning How to Stay encourages the listener to stay present for it all.

The album opens with a droning cascade of strings and a lone piano setting the tone on “Bound By a Thread,” then abruptly shifts to the bright country twang of guitars through a lesson of literal biology and figurative heart on “Dark to Light and Dark Again.” This contrast is indicative of the record as a complete thought, presenting the listener with an ever-widening spectrum of themes and musical moods. The sparse indie-rock vibe of “I See It Too” is then juxtaposed with the Celtic-like pastoral build of the instrumental, “Jim and Judy’s Wedding” (Larry Unger).

Mid-tempo grooves are broken down and piled back up on both “Lost in the Woods” and the backstreet rocker “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun”. Carefully, patiently, the music unfolds with a myriad of tasteful choices: a Hammond B-3 organ harmonizing briefly with the heartbreak vocal of “The Last Three Feet;” the polyrhythmic art rock sensibility and sheets of violin coursing through “I Wait.”

Bright, bare minimalism adorns the Irish-tinged original “Grace and a Tender Hand,” while a foreboding darkness inhabits the Finnish traditional instrumental, “Metsakukkia”. This genre-defying album winds down with some welcomed serenity during the ballad “Moment of Bliss”, which is a fitting end to this emotionally satisfying listening experience.

"This new collection of songs by Gaelynn Lea combine childlike wonder with shamanic wisdom. Her voice is as uniquely enchanting as Marianne Faithful, John Jacob Niles, Jimmy Scott or Kate Bush. These compositions are virtuoso with refined restraint. Each song delivers a feeling or sentiment while generously giving us room to interpret. Brief, concentrated pills of kindness and wisdom, these songs are exactly what the world needs now. Gaelynn's voice and violin remind us that there is beauty all around us at every moment."

-Thor Harris



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