The daughter of a coal miner, weaving a trail from West Virginia to Texas and now residing in Scotland, Heather Leigh furthers the vast unexplored reaches of pedal steel guitar. Her playing is as physical as it is phantom, combining spontaneous compositions with a feel for the full interaction of flesh with hallucinatory power sources. With a rare combination of sensitivity and strength, Leigh’s steel mainlines sanctified slide guitar and deforms it using hypnotic tone-implosions, juggling walls of bleeding amp tone with choral vocal constructs and wrenching single note ascensions. In late 2015, Heather Leigh released her first proper studio album, ‘I Abused Animal’ on Stephen O’Malley & Peter Rehberg’s Ideologic Organ/Editions Mego labels to widespread acclaim. Renowned as a fearless free improviser, ‘I Abused Animal’ is a breakthrough work showcasing Heather Leigh’s songwriting prowess, foregrounding her stunning voice and her innovations for the pedal steel guitar. Warmly recorded in a secret location in the English countryside, the album transmutes the power of her captivating live performances to a studio setting, capturing her tactile playing in full clarity while making devastating use of volume and space. Heather Leigh explores themes of abuse, sexual instinct, vulnerability, memory, shadow, fantasy, cruelty and projection across the album’s psychedelic hymnals. At times the intimacy of the recordings makes you feel like she’s singing directly into your ear, playing just for you.
In 2016 Heather Leigh will be touring extensively as a solo artist in support of ‘I Abused Animal’. Additionally, Heather Leigh performs in a duo with Peter Brötzmann. Their debut release ‘Ears Are Filled With Wonder’ will be available soon on Not Two Records (CD) and Trost Records (limited edition vinyl LP).
‘I Abused Animal’ Ideologic Organ/Editions Mego: http://editionsmego.com/release/SOMA023
‘I Abused Animal’ Underground Record Of The Month MOJO magazine March 2016:
‘I Abused Animal’ #5 in THE WIRE magazine’s End Of Year charts 2015: http://wishimage.com/post/135311630376/wiremagazinenumberfive
‘I Abused Animal’ #7 in PITCHFORK’S Experimental Albums Of The Year 2015: http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/9773-the-best-experimental-albums-of-2015/
‘I Abused Animal’ featured in THE NEW YORK TIMES: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/27/arts/music/new-music-from-mansion-nadia-reid-and-heather-leigh.html?_r=1
‘I Abused Animal’ featured on PITCHFORK’S Out Door column:
‘I Abused Animal’ review in UNCUT magazine:
‘I Abused Animal’ review in THE QUIETUS:
‘I Abused Animal’ review in ENOLA:
‘I Abused Animal’ review in DUSTED magazine:
‘I Abused Animal’ review in THE NEW NOISE: