If you’re a fan of alt-pop with a solid vibe, full of heart and emotional pull, you’ll be wanting to get familiar with Canadian-born, London-based Leith.
Dropping her debut EP ‘Birthdays In July’ today (Friday 13th May – yes, that isn’t July – Ed), it’s packed with widescreen, cinematic bops that bristle with texture and promise. We dropped her a line to find out more.
Hello Leith! How’s it going? What are you up to today?
I’m good, haha. I’m currently doing all things EP related. Very excited for it to be out and for people to hear it!
You’ve been doing music for a while, right? Tell us about your new project, Leith – how did you get here?
I’ve been obsessed with singing since I was a little kid, from classical to theatre and now pop music. I think I had to try on a few hats before I figured out what felt most comfortable for me. It started when I was living in LA a few years ago and wasn’t sure what I sounded like. I think it took moving to London to really understand my sound. Trying a new place and finding some clarity.
It sounds like you’re pretty fearless when it comes to change, having moved from Canada to LA to London too. Are you a bit restless, generally?
I wouldn’t say I’m restless necessarily; I think it’s more about finding a place to be myself. I’m very lucky to have been able to experience those places and try and figure myself out.
How are you finding London? Do you have any favourite spots?
I love London. It’s an amazing city. There’s so much music here and so many great artists. And there’s a lot of grit in the songwriting and the sonics that are so specific to London and the UK that I find really inspiring. I absolutely love the canal, especially on a nice day.
Your debut EP is great – how did it come together?
It’s come together over the last two years! Which feels like forever. The first single, ‘Love Vibes’, I actually wrote in LA with Jonah Summerfield and the rest of it was written in London over the last couple of years. It’s cool to see what it’s evolved into. From all the single artwork being film photos my friends and I took to now, the EP artwork (shot by Henry Dean) feels like the project has grown so naturally.
Where did the title come from? Is your birthday in July?
Yes, haha, my birthday is in July. Also, a few of my family members and my best friend also have birthdays in July. I took the EP title from my song ‘Big Trees’, which is about home in Canada and spending the summers growing up there. Every summer, my family has a big birthday party for everyone while we’re all together, and that’s where that line came from. It’s always a moment in the year that time stops, and we’re all catching up, seeing how everyone is and just being together, and then off we all go back to life. It’s really special time. Also, coincidentally, my first single came out last July, so that’s kinda cool too.
Do you have a favourite track on the record?
Ooh, idk if I can answer that. It’s like kids. The song that’s the most sentimental for me is definitely ‘Big Trees’ because it’s about my family. But I love doing ‘Satellite’ and ‘Uphill Fighting’ live, oh and ‘cowboys don’t have friends’, too.
What are you most drawn to writing songs about? Are there any themes or sounds you find yourself revisiting again and again?
Sonically and lyrically, I always find myself going back to folk, Americana and rock. For me, the best songs can be done acoustic on a guitar and then production helps transport you further. For writing, I think what I’m thinking about or writing about changes based on my life at that time, but this whole EP is a lot about self-discovery and change. That theme comes up a lot and is kind of the thread through the seven tracks.
You’re releasing on your own label, Big Trees – is that a process you enjoy? Which bits do you most appreciate being able to do yourself?
Yeah, I love it! It’s my own label, Big Trees, distributed through AWAL. It’s amazing to be able to be in creative control so early in a project. I feel very lucky that we’re in that position. I’m very fortunate to have an amazing team and people involved in this project that make it all feel so natural. I just get to be myself and evolve at my own pace and build that foundation for my music.
Are you creative in non-musical ways too?
Definitely. I love things that are tactile and being able to work with my hands. I think that’s why I love crochet so much, haha. I’ve always loved clothes and fashion, am thinking about a sewing machine atm.
What do you do for fun?
I spend a lot of time with friends and family and making music, haha. I do really enjoy cooking, though, and I have gotten more into it over the last few years.
Is there anything else we should know?
Keep your eyes peeled for more shows and more music!!!
Leith’s debut EP’ Birthdays In July’ is out now.