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Ahead of the release of their sophomore album, Gordon Huntley talks through the Leaving Laurel project, and the conception of their sophomore album ‘when the quiet comes’, out May 19 via Anjunadeep.
There is a unique songwriting process central to ‘when the quiet comes’; a reflective record awash with warm piano, inviting textural percussion, and delicate melodies. As Huntley discovered recordings laid down by himself and Pierce years prior, he was driven to continue what they had started. Like seeds planted in the winter, forgotten musical ideas emerged and flourished, providing a cathartic sense of closure for Huntley and a new musical beginning for the band:
“Who do we become when we’re alone? When the story is over, and we’ve acknowledged the silence – that’s when the quiet comes.
Making this record was my search to find purpose after Pierce passed. It was a light to show me a way forward. A way for me to grieve, a way for me to hold onto the memories. A eulogy to my friend.
This is the album I always hoped Pierce and I would make together one day. It’s my attempt to continue the dream we had, to take what we had started with our first album to a secret place beyond the club. To make a soundtrack for the moments where everything stands still. A record that could showcase the culmination of every unique influence we shared as friends. A record that could be important enough to outlive us both. A record that I hope would have made him proud.
It’s the hardest I’ve worked on anything in my entire life, and the proudest I’ve ever been of any music I’ve made. If the road for leaving laurel were to end here, I know I gave it my all. I created something with the pieces of what Pierce and I had started, and it feels like the most honest album I could show to the world.”
– Gordon Huntley
A tale of two old friends, Gordon and Pierce, Leaving Laurel connected the duo musically for the first time after being close friends for almost a decade. Since their debut release in 2020, the duo have garnered a fervent fanbase and widespread support. Their recently released EP, ‘fireflies (for as far as we could see)’, received an overwhelmingly warm reception from fans and tastemakers alike, including Black Coffee, Sultan + Shepard and David Hohme, as well as further radio support from BBC Radio 1 and SiriusXM.
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What Is Music?
Music is an art form, a medium of cultural exchange and, in recent times, a multibillion dollar industry that includes production, distribution, live concerts, album sales and streaming. It is an integral part of our daily lives, from the ringing of a cell phone (someone is trying to reach you) to the melodies of our favorite songs and artists.
A producer oversees all the processes involved in recording, from concept to final product. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of today’s formats, genres, sounds and production techniques. They also have the technical expertise to work the soundboard and place microphones if necessary. A producer can also assist as a musician, though this varies from person to person.
The most obvious uses of music are for dance, personal or communal entertainment and communication. The ability to create and perceive music may have predated human language, and some research suggests that Homo neanderthalensis and later hominids were capable of making musical instruments.
In addition to expressing emotions, feelings and ideas, music has also been used as a tool for healing. In the earliest days, Indigenous tribes in North America used music to cure disease, and music therapy is now an established clinical field.
Artists are a special kind of people; they have something inside of them that needs to be expressed, even if it hurts. The creation process can be frustrating when things don’t go according to plan, but they have to keep creating, or the music will never come out. The best example is Metallica, whose albums are full of pain and anger, but who can still deliver an amazing show that makes their audience forget about all that stuff for a few hours.