Low Leaf | Red Moon

Low Leaf is the long-running and multivalent project of Los Angeleno and multi-instrumentalist Angelica-Marie. Riding the wake of 2023’s Microdose—melding/channeling free jazz, astrology, hip-hop, eco-spirituality, and geo-political anger—Red Moon (out May 24th 2024 on Leaving Records) is a tight, three-song release, a snapshot of Low Leaf during an especially dynamic period.

Having received training in classical piano as a child, Low Leaf is equally adept as a self-taught guitarist, harpist, and producer. Indeed, these four elements (piano, guitar, harp, and beats/sound design)—their balance, fusion, and occasional clashings—constitute the project’s essential ingredients, though notably there is no guitar featured in Red Moon.

Fittingly, Red Moon begins with a live rendition of “Blue Nile,” a song written by fellow polymath, searcher, and harpist, thee late, great Alice Coltrane. In this, the Alice Coltrane bumper sticker revival era, Low Leaf’s “Blue Nile” enfolds the listener like a well-worn, well-loved overcoat of indeterminate origin. How is it that we’ve come to be blessed by this strange and beautiful old thing? Who knows…but it fits perfectly. A recording of a live performance at NeueHouse Hollywood, and with the backing of a drummer, bassist, and flautist, “Blue Nile” is a swirling, ecstatic, intermittently improvisational, and ultimately apt take on a new cosmic standard.

Red Moon’s subsequent two tracks, “Innersound Oddity” and “How to Open a Portal,” are Low Leaf originals, though both possess (no doubt in part to “Blue Nile’s” bold introduction) an uncanny sense of familiarity. And to be sure, there are some familiar components: “Innersound Oddity,” with its tongue-in-cheek intro of “strap in kids” and its propulsive scuzz, is built atop a beat Low Leaf previously contributed to Fat Beats’ Baker’s Dozen series. The track, true to its name, builds towards a frenetic, odd, warbly climax before suddenly dissembling—a B movie UFO flying off its axis. “How to Open a Portal” (which, incidentally, Low Leaf debuted at the long running Leaving Records monthly showcase, Listen to Music Outside in the Daylight Under a Tree) seems to thread the needle between the two previous recordings. Flute and harp dance helical-wise across and over and throughout an airy rhythmic bed. Soothing and vibey, “How to Open a Portal” likewise reserves some daring climactic surprises for the tail end of its ten-minute-plus runtime.


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