Soundcloud.com is an excellent way to find new music. Every now and then, if the mood hits me while I’m listening to a particular song, I take a gander at the recommended section on the right hand side of the screen. As you might expect, sometimes the recommended song is good, sometimes it’s not.
This last time was good. This last time was really good. This last time was so good that I actually said… out loud… “Thank you, Soundcloud!” and then I asked Soundcloud on a date. Sad thing is that Soundcloud didn’t say anything back, so I took that as a rejection… so I said, “Oh, ok. I understand. Yeah, I wasn’t really feeling it, too. I just asked you out because my friends bet me I wouldn’t do it. It’s cool. Thanks for playing along. Ha ha.”
Wow. Can anyone guess why I’m still single?
Anyhow, this last time was Jurassic. I found an artist, Leah Shaw, and her gorgeous song, “I Went to War.”
Shaw, a classically trained bassoonist, got her start busking in the subways of New York City. For those of you that don’t know what busking is, watch Leah’s video below.
Yep. Busking is when (in this case) a musician stands in a public place and just plays to anyone that will listen. According to her bio, Leah developed her voice in those New York City subways, stating that, “In the subways, I refined the art of overcoming awkwardness to play confidently in front of just about anyone. F-Train people are my favorite.”
Personally, I’ve never gone busking before because I’d be too shy and end up performing like this:
I wonder if Leah ever performed “I Went to War” while busking, as I’m sure it would have been a crowd pleaser. There’s a sad beauty to the song that I can’t stay away from… and the lyrics? Shaw was gracious enough to reply to my emails and explains:
“[I Went to War] I wrote in 2012, reflecting on the past three years where I had moved back into my parents house to help take care of my mom who had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Writing it was a moment of saying, “Holy shit that was hard!” and nobody could prepare me for that process. I wrote it with my older sis on mind with whom I have always been very close but with whom I had a falling out during the time; she kind of warned me that moving home would be hard, but ultimately she was occupied with her own battle (the line did you know? Could you foretell? Or were you busy at war as well?)”
The fact that she busks and replied to me leads me to believe she works to connect with her listeners in as many levels as she can. Very cool.
Leah posted a video of her tracking the “I Went to War” vocals here. The end result is a song that is going to be a regular spin in my iPod. Take a 4-minute break right now and enjoy the song. It’ll do you right…
So Jurassic. I’ve played this song about 9 times right now, and it still hits me like a Ninja foot right in my belly.
Leah has an EP out titled, I’m Just the Same. I’m looking forward to more music from her. She’s definitely an artist I’m going to follow.
Here are her August show dates:
TUESDAY, AUGUST 12TH @ 11pm
THE WAY STATION
683 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY. 11238
SUNDAY, AUGUST 24TH @ 6pm
ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL
Leah Shaw Live on Stage One
196 Allen Street
New York, NY. 10002
Catch a show if you can, or just hang out near the F-Train. If you’re lucky, you’ll find her trying out some new material or playing an oldie but goodie. Either way, you win.