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Lawrence and Leigh

Synchronicity by definition is the coincidence of events that seem related, but are not obviously caused by one another. The formation of moody folk duo, Lawrence & Leigh by definition is synchronicity.

California kids, Andrew Lawrence Kalleen and Kristin Leigh Stokes left their Bay Area homes in the summer of 2008 destined for New York. Having never met prior to the move, they landed in Brooklyn within only a week of each other, and in the fall of 2008, Kalleen sublet a room for three months in Stokes’ apartment building in Brooklyn. The result is two people so musically in s ...read more

Synchronicity by definition is the coincidence of events that seem related, but are not obviously caused by one another. The formation of moody folk duo, Lawrence & Leigh by definition is synchronicity.

California kids, Andrew Lawrence Kalleen and Kristin Leigh Stokes left their Bay Area homes in the summer of 2008 destined for New York. Having never met prior to the move, they landed in Brooklyn within only a week of each other, and in the fall of 2008, Kalleen sublet a room for three months in Stokes’ apartment building in Brooklyn. The result is two people so musically in sync with each other and their surroundings, fate takes hold.

Kalleen was an aspiring musician and would often play his songs around the house. He says, “One day Kristin started to sing along and harmonize, and we found that our voices and musical intuition were very much in sync..

The couple plays sparse and beautifully crafted songs which resonate with haunting harmonies and spiraling musical accompaniment. Using their middle names as their musical moniker, the duo submerges into another world when they create music together. Says Stokes, “That way it’s still ‘us,’ but like our musical alter egos. We are able to separate from ourselves, while still being ourselves.” With swirling voices, guitar crescendos, and layers of instrumental tracks, their songs are both simple and hauntingly poetic with sweet folk touches interspersed amongst solid and forceful rhythms.

Stokes’ distinctive voice moves effortlessly from soft whispers to potent wails; listen closely and hear how the inimitable vocal influences of Joanna Newsom, Jeff Buckley, Judy Garland and Bjork can come together to create a visceral voice distinctively her own. Sharing vocal duties, Kalleen’s voice is the perfect complement to Stokes; weaving harmonies that when combined with minimal instrumentation creates an atmosphere of intimacy. When their spiraling dance breaks, it reveals Kalleen’s rich, somewhat melancholy voice.

Lawrence & Leigh are invested in the overall sounds of their music and how it resonates with listeners. “There is a lot of emphasis in the color of the overall sound … designed for the keen listener,” says Kalleen. “Every aspect of the sound is meticulously composed so that the songs aren’t just about the melody and the words and the chords, but the timbre and rhythms.” Never are their songs overdone, whether the duo creates indie folk songs with back and forth vocals, moody rock or Americana pop. Lawrence & Leigh recorded their upcoming release, both at their home studio as well as Grand Street Recording in Brooklyn with producer Ken Rich. The songs on this first record spin a yarn of Kalleen and Stokes’ move from their childhood homes and their ultimate connection amidst the spectacle of New York City.

Lawrence & Leigh craft their songs to be intentionally interpreted differently by each that comes upon their music. Lyrically and sonically, every new song rings of brutal personal honestly. “Many of the lines of our songs would be impossible for fans to find what it means to me,” states Kalleen. “They’re designed to be ambiguous enough so almost anyone can relate to each line..

Their debut release will be the first in a series of three EPs, each showcasing a different mood and musical style of the versatile duo.

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Odyssey Vol. III: Hills and Masts
2011

2.5
2 Votes

Contributors: Willie,

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