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Leah Sohotra To Release Single ‘The Valleys of Her Mind’

January 28, 2022

‘The Valley’s of Her Mind’ is a project that reflects a collaboration Leah Sohotra and Martin Leahy began working on over four years ago. The song draws from the influence of Erik Satie, Hoagy Carmichael and Patrick Kavanagh creating the mood of a captivating dark utopia. In November 2021 Leah sought to create a stop-motion video through collaboration with local visual artists and actors Senan O’ Connor, Artem Trofimenko and Sophia Santabarbara.

“Stop-motion is ideal for expressing the liminal space between what is living and what is dead while maintaining a contained storybook feel. This quality gives it a sense of ephemerality that can be dark, relatable and so funny. Ancient folktales and nursery rhymes can be folded into contemporary art through symbols, visual transitions and juxtapositions. This freedom allows for a symbolic universe and calls attention to the fact that symbolism is not extraordinary. The anthropomorphising of ordinary objects and puppetry was a well established tradition in my childhood home and has continued to be a source of fascination and expression for me into adulthood.”

Leah is an Irish singer/songwriter and a single mother of two living in Blarney, Co. Cork. She was born in Albany, New York and started writing music for the first time in 2017 at age 32. In October of 2019 Leah was invited to play musical support for legendary artist Andy Irvine at the Cork Folk Festival.

Leah moved to Vermont at a young age and went to school there including completing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Vermont where she dabbled in Jazz and Brechtian Theatre. She also worked extensively with homeless populations there and the Rape Crisis Centre and studied to become a doula.

She received her degree in Gender and Women’s Studies and Nutrition. After college Leah decided she wanted to have a child and moved to Golden, Colorado situated in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains after giving birth to her son, Yossef. She lived in Golden for several years with her spouse and raised their new born.

Ireland was next on the list, however Leah has spent time living in other parts of the world including Morocco where she’s spent over a year of her life traveling including a four month stay after the birth of her daughter whom she delivered all by herself at her home in Shandon. Leah loves Ireland especially the land itself, the ruins and history, the trad scene, the country’s pride in their independence and the working class culture. “I love sea swimming and the proximity to the sea everywhere you go!”

Leah has lived in Ireland for ten years now and as a result of her travels, her song imagery draws heavily on rural landscapes. She also has a love for classical literature, folk tradition, nursery rhymes and epic poetry. Her subjects are often animals, objects and mythical creatures.

Leah released an EP of four of her songs in 2018, which included the track ‘Tuam’ which was written for her mother who was the survivor of a violent gang rape and who was forced to live in a Catholic home for unwed mothers in Upstate New York. Leah dedicated the song  “To the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries and to anyone who has been unceremoniously buried in one way or another.”

Her 10-song debut album, breaded crickets, was released in 2019 and blends the folk singer’s powerful lyrics with the ingenuity of Martin Leahy, who plays well over a dozen different instruments on the LP. The album also features gorgeous guest vocals by the highly acclaimed songwriter Mick Flannery who co-wrote the track ‘Sam’s Song,’ touching on issues of race and class.

 

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