“Leah Flanagan is hands down one of this country’s finest songwriters” - Post To Wire
Emotion and allure are at the heart of Leah Flanagan’s songwriting. The Sydney-based singer/songwriter uses space in an enchanting way – the listener has the sense they can settle amongst the lyrics and become part of the music. And when you settle you get carried away.
For a decade Leah Flanagan has filled the Australian music scene with her sophisticated contemporary folk, alternative soulful sound. But it is a shame to restrain her sound with clear-cut genres as Leah’s strength lies in her elegant compositions and intimate delivery.
It’s Leah’s voice that holds you. A subtly nuanced lilt here, a slight rasp there, a hesitant tremor, a pause – all forming part of the emotional landscape she wishes to paint with her music. Leah’s voice makes you feel. But her songs and voice are not in your face… instead they make you an offer you can’t refuse.
A childhood spent in the laid-back tropical climes of Darwin in the Northern Territory, Leah brings a refreshing and unique authenticity to her work. And that genuineness has delivered results. Her incredible journey as an artist is woven with star-studded collaborations with the likes of Sinead O’Connor, Meshell Ndegeocello and poet Sam Wagan-Watson; touring productions 1967: Music in the Key of Yes, Shane Howard's EXILE alongside Irish musicians Declan O'Rourke, Pauline Scanlon and John Spillane: Mission Songs and the Black Arm Band; Adelaide Festival’s 2011 production of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, performing in Clinton Walker’s Buried Country Roadshow; duetting with Paul Kelly and Ursula Yovich and recently recording a duet of Archie Roach’s “I’ve Lied” with Marlon Williams. Leah has also featured on the TV Programs - ABC’s Spicks and Specks, and SBS's Rockwiz.
In 2016 Leah released her third album Saudades.
The culmination of two years' work, Saudades was recorded live in the studio with Leah's band and music director/producer Niall Anderson.
Saudades…. This wonderfully untranslatable word conjures a tangle of feelings that only the Portuguese, in their wisdom of the heart's joys and sorrows, could name with just one word. It is a fitting name for an album that captures the full repertoire of emotions that we carry into our relationships, romantic and otherwise.
A large portion of the album was recorded at the studio of Midnight Oil's Jim Moginie in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, then mixed by Paul McKercher (You Am I, Augie March). Leah's smokey voice is given full flight with her intuitive backing band driven by the empathic guitar prowess of Adam Pringle, award winning jazz bassist Jonathan Zwartz, Niall Anderson on keys and vibraphone and Miles Thomas on drums.
LOVE FOR SAUDADES
"Mostly it’s a close and intimate affair.... with Flanagan’s voice as the focal point, she builds a sensual tension that is only momentarily released by the intoxicating chorus" - The Australian
“The first single (Chills) from Leah’s upcoming album Saudades is a beautiful produced track that sees her deliver trademark sensitive, searching vocals over an echoey riff, contemplating an emotionally distant love“ - Tone Deaf
“Raw talent is one thing; refined talent is something else. With her new album ‘Saudades’, Leah Flanagan once again reminds us that she has taken her natural born gift for songwriting and singing and refined it over the years into a higher art form. This is not to mean that her latest work is lofty and unreachable – indeed, Leah has produced with ‘Saudades’ an aural sculpture that speaks to everyone that has ever loved, lost, longed and wished” – Foldback Magazine
"Leah Flanagan's second album, a suite of songs that explore bittersweet emotions universally experienced in relationships, gently announces the arrival of a major singer-songwriter. The sensual Chills with its irresistible riff, a voice and electric guitar duet on Two Worlds, the ominous, bluesy feel of Damage. An outstanding release." - Stack Magazine
"Leah Flanagan's latest full-length Saudades (from which this song comes) caused quite a stir among music critics in September last year. The Sydneysider is considered one of Australia's most gifted songwriters, blending alt-folk and soul into her affecting tracks." Stack.net
“It becomes pretty clear with this release, that she’s put everything out there in this release. Put simply the album is a culmination of the emotions we feel as lovers, relatives and friends and in the relationships that surround those. It’s a brilliant release that exhibits the two years that went into making it” – Forte Mag
“As an album opener (Chills) is definitely indicative of a gorgeously honest record. Flanagan shows off some of her best on the track – a combination of talented songwriting coupled with beautiful arrangement” – The AU Review
“It’s lyrically raw but the driving beat and rich production are just captivating” – Timber and Steel