Life’s false starts, winding roads and the wisdom found at the end of rainbows forms the rock bed of Leah Weller’s long-awaited debut album, announced for release later this year with the assured, soulful grandeur of first single, Wonder. Describing a modern soul soundtrack to her head spinning twenties turning into empowered, contented thirties, Weller’s first long-player, Freedom, is announced for release on Fri 21 October 2022.
Completed last year, Weller’s first complete album follows a decade-long career on catwalks, in front of cameras and making dancefloors shake, constantly on the move and with music as a constant companion. Finding the escape route out of anxiety-inducing mix-and-match career moves with the stability of love, the slowdown of repeated lockdowns and, finally, motherhood, Weller’s race is now to be run at her own pace with a collection of songs set perfectly to her flow.
Recorded between studios in Surrey and Devon in sessions starting in 2020, Weller’s choice of first single from the album follows early hints of what was to come via sporadically released, teaser singles like Change and Something Sacred. Whilst retaining the same seasoned confidence and produced again by evergreen studio craftsman Steve Craddock, Wonder’s soulful poise starts to tell the album’s story, of a person and an artist settling into an identity of her own design.
She says: “Wonder is one of the more recent tracks from the album, dealing with an egoic mind and bad habits of overthinking things. Why doubt yourself? Why give yourself a hard time for no reason? It’s cathartic to be able to write these things into a song, usually more so than to talk about it.”
Doubt gave way to belief with the help of Craddock who took a series of demos Weller had created and committed to cultivating her gift for melody and innate, eloquent lyricism, resulting in a collection of songs ready for the world to hear. A committed live performer, overcoming the hurdles of stage fright, Weller’s live experiences to date have been hard won on intimate stages, eye-to-eye with her audiences.