On March 12, UK singer-songwriter Léanie Kaleido will release her new album ‘How To Weigh A Whale Without A Scale’, produced at OX4 Sound Studio near Oxford by Ride frontman Mark Gardener, who also contributes guitar on one track. Ahead of this, she previews the lead track ‘All The Things I’m Made Of’.
No stranger to music, Kaleido grew up in a musical household. Her father Top Topham was the original lead guitarist in The Yardbirds and was signed to Mike Vernon’s Blue Horizon record label as a solo artist.
“This album was recorded during very strange times but in fact, those in-between lockdown studio sessions turned out to be a godsend. Working with Mark Gardener, who understood exactly what my tracks needed, gave me the confidence to focus on my vocals and lyrics, and not to throw the kitchen sink at every song. He’s an amazing producer and his attention to capturing the ambient sound in the room as well as the instruments is something that sets him apart from anyone else I’ve worked with,” says Léanie Kaleido.
On this long-play, Kaleido plays lyrically astute, laid-back pop, piano-based ballads with the odd quirky guitar ditty thrown in, showcasing Léanie’s eccentric look at life. This new release will thrill Léanie’s existing fans, giving them lashings of melancholia, but peppered with that ever-present tongue-in-cheek commentary that tells you she never has and never will take herself – or anyone else – seriously.
But this third album also cements her as a consistently accomplished songwriter, unbound by the notion of what is ‘cool’ as she sits back and enjoys the thrill of writing unabashedly from the soul.
Léanie, who grew up “snogging posters of Ride and wanting to be PJ Harvey”, has, over time, settled into the acceptance that her songs just come out the way they do. “Not especially cool”, she says, “but I’m really proud of some of my lyrics. Getting ‘salient verities’ into a song gave me a lot of satisfaction! Now Mark is a really good mate who knows what works best for my songs. And he has the best selection of green tea. I’m now a loose leaf connoisseur, thanks to him!”
Kaleido’s 50th year went off with a bang thanks to Gardener’s open-armed invitation to record at his Oxford studio. After four or five sessions throughout the less locked-down parts of 2020, and ten songs later, an album was born.
“The songs on this album represent the highs and lows I’ve encountered over the past few years, how I’ve dealt with them and what I’ve learnt through the process. It’s a mixture of love, regret, philosophies, humour and hope. I’ve always been a late developer, and so this to me feels like a coming-of-age album,” says Léanie Kaleido.
Léanie Kaleido – Vocals, piano, ukulele, strings, drum programming, synth bass
Mark Gardener – Producer, guitar, bass
Jono Harrison – Guitar, drum programming, synth bass (Codeine, Kite String Mantra)
Chris Gussman – Guitar and engineer on ‘Hat Thief’, engineer on ‘Mr Dragonfly’
All songs written by Léanie Kaleido. Copyright @2021
Cover photo by Jono Harrison
Cover created by Sara Truckel
Cover photo by Jono Harrison. Cover created by Sara Truckel
Photos by Mark Scott, except blue door photo by Jess Foster and Mark Gardener / Léanie Kaleido photo by Steve Smith
“Great music with stellar delivery… Sheer light and positivity radiates through the confessional storytelling woven through her piano-based offering, leaving you eager for the next chapter” ~ Amplify Music Magazine
“Gets under your skin and you just end up playing it constantly… with echoes of the more ethereal parts of the British folk movement in the early seventies, Leanie Kaleido has that curiously English charm” ~ Bluesbunny Music Reviews
“There is a tenderness and pureness here framed in the braveness of revealing one’s soul to a beautifully raw and grounding melody” ~ Big Takeover Magazine
“Piano and Léanie’s clear, strong voice are the primary instruments… nicely understated throughout, but you can hear just a little dreampop drift in, via heavenly harmonies and the occasional lush synth part” ~ Brooklyn Vegan