Low Leaf, “Rise Up”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 04.29.14 in Listen to This

Akashaalay, the latest record from LA singer Angelica Lopez, who records as Low Leaf, is a tribute to her homeland of the Philippines in the wake of the devastation suffered during multiple natural disasters. But while the message of “Rise Up” is ultimately inspirational, the music behind it is slippery and endlessly shape-shifting. At times recalling at times the dusky, globe-spanning aesthetic of recent Erykah Badu, “Rise Up” is rooted in a strutting funk organ, but ornamented with clattering percussion, cascading synths and maracas and shakers that rattle and buzz like insects in the jungle. It’s lithe and mysterious, and works a groove that becomes gradually hypnotic. The song anchors Akashaalay, which is being released on a limited-edition cassette at the end of the month.