UK singer-songwriter Léanie Kaleido has announced she will be releasing a new album, entitled ‘How To Weigh A Whale Without A Scale’, produced by Ride frontman Mark Gardener at his OX4 Sound Studio near Oxford. Gardener 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.
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.
“Mark Gardener was determined to make my vocals and lyrics ‘the stars of the show’ and this has steered my sound to something more stripped back and atmospheric. Mark is a top bloke. He made me feel at ease straight away. The anxiety tablets I’d taken with me to stop myself exploding with fear weren’t needed and we got on famously from the start. It was such a laugh recording with someone who once had been the target of my ‘dribbly poster snogs’ and now is just a really good mate who knows what works best for my songs.”
‘All The Things I’m Made Of’ is now available as an immediate-gratification download upon ordering her ‘How To Weigh A Whale Without A Scale’ LP. As of March 12, the full album will be released everywhere digitally and will be available across online streaming platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify. It can pre-ordered directly from the artist via Bandcamp.
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
Other photos by Mark Scott, except for blue door photo by Jess Foster