Four-woman musical collective Ley Line bring their brand of ethereal pop to SXSW 2022.
By Cy White, Photos courtesy of Ley Line
Music that connects with the earth, air and water. Comprised of twins Maddy and Lydia and Austin natives Katie and Emile, Ley Line is a group of women who create music meant to force you to reach deep within to your deepest parts and find truth. To own it and be comfortable living in your purest self. Part diary, part jam, Ley Line’s music very much comes from a place of rugged honesty. As they make their way to the SXSW stage, they took some time to answer a few questions about their musical journey and latest projects.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
We are four women brought together by our love of travel and songwriting. Our origin story takes us back to a camping trip. We sat around a fire sharing songs and stories, and that is really the heart of our collective. We are four songwriters exploring the depths of human connection through vulnerability and sound.
What’s the message you want to give people coming to SXSW after a two-year in-person absence?
We’re just so grateful to have an in-person SXSW this year! We are excited for the energy. This festival potentially has to bring a wider community together to celebrate art.
The band took a live touring break during the pandemic. But your online SXSW performance last year got a lot of attention. Now that you’re able to perform at SXSW live (in your first performance since 2021), 1) what are some of your emotions getting back on stage 2) what are you most anticipating about performing again?
Although last year was such a different SXSW, there were aspects that were really cool about it that we hope we can integrate into the future. We experienced the benefit of the way the festival was conducted that made the performance so accessible without having a negative impact on the environment or people’s health. I think the virtual festival also took some of the pressure off the festival for musicians. This is something I hope will roll over into this year. I think we all learned we didn’t have to jeopardize our mental and physical health through the “SXSW marathon” we had all grown accustomed to.
This year, I am excited for the energy. For sharing the music live and the excitement of the unknown this festival brings. And I am really excited to see what shifts happen in the culture of the festival this year. I am hopeful that we all cherish the fun and release expectations and stress.
The recording of “High Tide” seems to have been one of the most organic for the band. First, what do you want listeners to take away from the track? Second, does “High Tide” set the tone for the future of your music?
I think the organic nature of how this track came together infuses it with a feeling of joy and connection. Even though there’s a sadness to the lyrics (it was written about a breakup), there’s also a strong message of finding hope and joy in the midst of a difficult time. For the group it symbolizes supporting each other through the ups and downs of life. Reaching for joy in the present moment.
In terms of our future music, I think we’re really excited to experiment more in the studio. We often try to create a sound that resembles what we create live with all acoustic instruments. But we are starting to add more instruments to the family and grow the process of how we write and produce our songs.
We are honored to be part of Austin’s music scene. It’s so supportive and collaborative and filled with amazing women making waves in the industry.
Ley Line will are playing a showcase at Stephen F’s Bar on March 16 at 9:00 p.m.
In the meantime, check out the video for their latest single, “High Tide.”