Songs for Sinfonietta is the second release on Folkwit Records by 25-year-old multi-instrumentalist Valeska Gavotte (aka Kevin Leahy) who hails from a small fishing village near Boston, US. It's the follow up to his critically acclaimed debut The Sword and The Shield/Botanica (2013) that attracted airplay on the likes of The Curveball (WCR-FM), The Waiting Room and BBC Radio 3's Late Junction, a 4 star review in R2 and praise from author Jonathan Coe:
"...a set that might in years to come be regarded in as a maverick release in the same manner that Van Dykes Park's Song Cycle or Joanna Newsom's Ys are considered."
- Americana UK
"...there's a strangeness at play across the songs...evoking Adem or Devendra Banhart" ****
"...an album that, whilst it defies classification, has so much to offer."
"Elegant and elusive, The Sword And The Shield/Botanica brings together creativity and ingenuity to one of the most rewarding adventures in sound of 2013."
- OndaRock (Italy)
“The work of Valeska Gavotte, aka 23 year old Kevin Leahy, is one of my favourite Bandcamp discoveries in a long time. Leahy’s compositions show incredible elegance, particularly considering he plays everything himself in a stunning mixture of violin, guitar, banjo, piano, mandolin and countless other instruments; it’s undeniably impressive. His sound is the kind without immediately obvious points of reference, but there’s definitely strong similarities with Sufjan Stevens instrumentally, while the feathered production recalls Efterklang and his voice could easily be a less burdened Zach Condon.”
- Sonic Reverie
“…a great record.”
-The Waiting Room
“I listen to it often, with great pleasure…An amazing talent, in one so young. I’m sure he’ll go on to great heights…”
- Jonathan Coe, Author/Journalist
“Films often make me cry, but music almost never does – but Azure posted an album that almost broke my drought – by Valeska Gavotte. It’s like something from edenic pre-tag days, some lazysexy gentle fingers on a banjo-string or piano-key, a voice unembarrassed at not being a singer, a raggedy gnarly muddle of soft bedroom events. It’s love.”
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