A remarkable album; compares favourably with the best of the singer/songwriter genre.
Lesley Young's second disc, Inside, is a powerful, even spiritual, cycle of songs about life at it's essence. This way to desire, betrayal, death, renewal. All are treated honestly; everything sung and played with fire and poetry. An ambitous and personal listen taking the sophistication and commitment of Lesley's first disc Symphony for Two to new heights. Not one second is wasted. Everything is focused, immediate, intense, yet elegant, well-arranged, beautifully recorded. At the time of writing, two tracks on Inside have been recognized by international songwriting competitions: Inside, finalist, Song of the Year, Folk category, finalist, Songwriters Universe, Acoustic/Pop. Jezebel, finalist, 8th annual Great American Songwriting Contest. A rich and satisfying listen, Inside builds perfectly from song to song. From the enticing warmth of the title track, through the powerful cadences of Give Me a Sign, the poignant retro country of Jezebel, cool groove of Time of My Life, celtic rock of River of Life, psychedelic ambience of Wait Until Darkness, to the moving and cinematic culmination of Deschenes Avenue, there is no mis-step. Lesley's guitar playing has never been better, and her vocals reach a new simplicity and power. A compelling listen from start to finish. Attractively packaged with a 16 page lyric booklet featuring photographs by renowned photographer Henk Van der Kolk.
"Enjoying your CD . . .impressive. . . sounds bad, meaning very good." James Lowe, leader, The Electric Prunes, producer, Sparks.
"One of the most talented singer/songwriters I have heard in years. Could be the next Joni Mitchell without a doubt. Masters open tunings like I've rarely seen." Richard Fortin, producer, Liona Boyd, composer, Madame Mere.
“You're quite wonderful... I wish you the best with your music “
Ande Rasmussen Award winning songwriter, former Editor and Publisher of www.SongWriterBlog.com and voting Grammy (awards) member and Texas Grammy Awards Governor.
Canadian talent supporting Lesley on Inside includes Kurt Swinghammer (Gingersnaps II), Maury Lafoy (Jann Arden, K-os), Shawn Eisenberg (Hunter/Ronson). Lesley Young wrote, produced and arranged. Executive producer John McKay-Clements. Mixed by David Travers-Smith (Jane Siberry, Wailin' Jennies). Mastered by Peter J. Moore (Cowboy Junkies).
Lesley Young - vocals, acoustic guitar on all tracks, electric guitar fills (Jezebel, Open Sea), electric sitar guitar (Wait Until Darkness Comes, River of Life) and crystal bowls on (I want You).
Symphony for Two
Folk, jazz, pop and poetry rub shoulders on this timeless and
Moody romanticism is the key to Symphony for Two, Lesley Young's 1994 debut. Here the Toronto singer/songwriter devotes her considerable talents to love in all it's aspects. Follow the human heart through celebration, desire, lamention, reflection. Lesley's melodic guitar playing and passionate vocals heighten each mood and lyric. Her strengths would later grow on Inside, her 2007 acoustic pop tour de force. But here, back at the beginning, on this jazz-inflected first disc, Lesley has a lot to say about living and loving. She also shows why she's regarded as a songwriter’s songwriter.
". . . a quite stunning indie offering."
Kerry Doole, impact magazine
"Shines with inspiration...rich in texture... sparkling guitar...'
Gary 17, to-nite magazine
"Refreshing to hear music of such originality and quality."
Radio WOUI, Chicago
Born to a family of artists and musicians, Lesley was both an experienced bandleader and solo artist by the time of Symphony. The disc was recorded in Toronto (mostly) live off the floor during three weeks, spring 1994, and graced by some of Canada’s finest players, including George Koller, Jim Vivian, Alan Cole, and Matthew Shawn Fleming. Captured by engineering legend Nick Blagona (Cat Stevens, Police). Produced and arranged by jazz guitarist James Pett.
Beautifully packaged, including song lyrics, Symphony remains a timeless document of a fertile and rewarding period. Recommended tracks include Laughing In The Wind, Dangerous, So Long, Symphony for Two, Flying Straight to You, and Song to the Wilderness.
Lesley Young - vocals, acoustic guitar.
Cover drawing by artist Paul Young.