Finding out that life was to turn on its head was the catalyst for Leah Weller and her latest cut of hazy, autumnal dream-soul, Dive In, appearing at once to float above the cool waters of adulthood whilst running blindly towards the deep end. A song of growth, facing down uncertainty and drawing on the certainties that only life-experience brings, the single is the latest to be lifted from Weller’s debut album, Freedom, released on Fri 21 October 2022 with Modern Sky UK.
Looking into the rear-view mirror at her twenties, a decade of catwalks and magazine covers, as the headlights turn to light up a new road of motherhood, contented calm and love, Dive In is a totem for courage and inevitable change. A song idea sent specifically for her voice, carried to new confidence through intimate performances in London’s smallest venues, turned into an unforeseen opportunity to write the most profound diary note of her brand-new thirties. Dive In came to life as Weller processed what it meant to be expecting a child.
Like many of the 12-tracks on Freedom, the single puts words and music to Weller’s farewells to confidence-crushing anxieties and the minutiae of unwarranted worry, embracing big-picture thinking as everything that really mattered became apparent.
She says: “’Dive In’ is the most recent track I wrote on the album, my Dad had sent me an idea and I had also just found out I was pregnant, so the lyrics came from how I was feeling. Overwhelmed but you just have to go for it, learn while you’re doing, like sink or swim. It’s got a really good jam session vibe and groove to it. It’s one of our favourites to do live”
Having co-written her dad, Paul Weller’s Shades Of Blue for his 2021 album Fat Pop, the roles are reversed as Freedom features his contributions as a guest on guitars, bass and Fender Rhodes piano.
Making frequent live performances through last year into this, showcasing many of the songs that have been quietly cultivated before announcing that an album was ready for release, Weller’s route to an ambitious debut has been signposted by a run of assured singles. First, with the glistening, headline act-opener, Wonder, weighted with Bond-theme brass and lightened by Wellers pure, cut-glass vocal delivery, the response from listeners was immediate as physical copies were pushed to an early, advance sell-out and a quickly-arranged repress.