interview: Leah Woods
words: Nina Braca
After nearly two years of recording, New York-based singer-songwriter Leah Woods is finally gearing up to release her debut EP b r i g h t e r t i d e s this spring. Woods’ unique voice paired with her signature ukulele strumming will be the perfect soundtrack to your summer.
We asked Woods about her upcoming album, influences and her favorite sandwich of all time. Check it out below.
The Grey Estates: What inspired this album?
Leah Woods: [The album] is about growing into myself, being comfortable with my story, my life, my experiences, reminiscing on my experiences and the people I have met so far in life. There are so many different feelings and emotions that come with life and I wanted "b r i g h t e r t i d e s" to encompass them all. Each song has a story, sometimes even two, but written in a way that the listener can fill in their own minor details so that they can create their own interpretation. We started recording this EP 2 years ago.
You’re been working on this for so long, what has the writing process been like?
“Mama Says,” which will be released on Mother's Day was written by my best friend and drummer Francesco Catricala who I actually grew up with. We lost touch for a bit and ended up reconnecting through music. He wrote the song for me to sing and I don't think I could have been more excited about it because it's type of soulful, honest, and upbeat music that I have always wanted to play. It's also a song that I relate to so deeply because my mom is such an important part of my life and is an incredibly intelligent woman. The song "Feel your Ground" was co-written with another amazing friend and my pianist, Jack Redsecker who also sings vocals. "Goin' My Own Way" has both Francesco and Jack Redsecker inspirations throughout. I had the chords and brought it to them and they were able to help me take it to the next level. My band is a huge part of my writing process because they add a flavor to the song that I sometimes don't think of, they are all such incredible musicians. When we play these songs live it's important to me that they all feel a personal connection to the songs we perform.
Who is your biggest musical influence?
One of my biggest musical inspirations is Justin Vernon, who is the lead in Bon Iver. The creativity and emotion behind each and every song has gotten me through some of the worst of times.
What is your favorite track on the EP?
”Nighttime Josie" definitely means the most to me because it was written during a time when I was trying to make sense of people that I loved very much who were dealing with health issues and depression, there was a lot of destruction happening in Israel where some of my closest family lives, as well as destruction all over the world. As much as you say that things are going to be alright to someone the truth is that you're not really sure if that's the case and it's a scary sensation. Those who pull through are more incredible people for making it through what they have experienced.
The first track off the b r i g h t e r t i d e s EP will be released May 5th followed by a show at Ivy Studio New York City with a one time only performance featuring artist, musician and producer Folded Voices and some amazing dancers from the Purchase Conservatory of Dance. It's going to be a full band experience, with exclusive merch, wine, food and a jam session to close out the night.
What’s a random fact you would want to share?
My favorite sandwich of all time is an everything bagel with plain cream cheese, bacon, fresh spinach, and butter.
b r i g h t e r t i d e s will be self-released this spring. Check out Woods’ music at https://www.leahwoodsmusic.com/music