185 Clingman Ave. Asheville, NC 28801
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On their self-titled fourth album, La Luz launch themselves into a new realm of emotional intimacy for a collection of songs steeped in the mysteries of the natural world and the magic of human chemistry that has found manifestation in the musical ESP between guitarist and songwriter Shana Cleveland, bassist Lena Simon, and keyboardist Alice Sandahl.
To help shape La Luz, the band found a kindred spirit in producer Adrian Younge. Though primarily known for his work with hip-hop, soul, and jazz acts, Younge saw in La Luz a shared vision that transcended genre. “We both create music with the same attitude, and that’s what I love about them,” he says. “They are never afraid to be risky and their style is captivating. It was an honor to work with them.”
The result is an album that is both the most naturalistic and psychedelic of the band’s career. All the elements of classic La Luz are still present—the lush harmonies, the impeccable musicianship, the gorgeous melodies—but it’s a richer, earthier iteration, replete with inorganic sounds that mimic the surreality of nature—the humming of invisible bugs, the atmospheric sizzle of a hot day. La Luz is an album that celebrates love—of music, of friendship, of life in all its forms.
Canadian songwriter and producer Jeremy Haywood-Smith needed an escape from his state of mourning when he began working on Slightshot, his most recent LP as JayWood, the recording project he started in 2015. After the loss of his mother in 2019 and a global standstill with multiple social crises throughout 2020, Haywood-Smith yearned for some forward momentum. “The idea of looking back to go forward became a really big thing for me—hence the title, Slingshot.” Haywood-Smith explains. Feeling disconnected from his past and ancestry after the death of a parent, Haywood-Smith made a conscious effort to better understand his identity and unique Black experience living in the predominantly white province of Manitoba. Through a year of self reflection and reconnection with his roots, Haywood-Smith has made the biggest leap forward for his project JayWood by simply looking back. Merging fantasy scenarios, personal anecdotes, and infectious pop and dance instrumentals, Slingshot is a self-portrait of JayWood at his surface and his depths.