|Member since||May 07, 2012|
|Location||Eau Claire, WI|
|Influences||Dirk Powell, Bon Iver, Anais Mitchell, Wilco, Abigail Washburn, |
|Kalispell is the songs of Shane Leonard, who lives in Eau Claire, WI. His music is influenced by the old song forms of Appalachia, timeless songwriters, and contemporary minimalist composers alike. On recordings and live performances, Shane is often accompanied by Ben Lester (AA Bondy, S. Carey) and Kevin Rowe (The Barley Jacks). He has supported such artists as Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Megafaun, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, and The Daredevil Christopher Wright. Between tours and the release of the band's debut album, Westbound, Kalispell has been the subject of wide praise from blogs and radio nationwide.|
The Last Year EP was Kalispell's first official offering, a well-rounded representation of the band's lush alt-folk sound. The striking lyrical balance between blunt sentiment and abstract wordplay showcase Shane's capability as not only a multi-instrumentalist, but lyricist as well. Although his studies of old time music are an influence, he avoids tired indie-folk cliches, instead mixing countrified instrumentation with contemporary song craft and ambient minimalism.
Kalispell's debut full-length album, Westbound, feels like a long-awaited exhale. It was six years in the making, and in that time, Shane has traveled as a musician and a teacher, from Massachusetts to Wisconsin, partnered and single, rarely static, and so the songs too have changed and deepened with the retelling. The result is a unique mix of clawhammer banjo and pedal steel guitar, of old-timey Appalachian traditions as in "Methodist Lift" and the ethereal, ambient music of songs like "Sepia Ghost." The piercing lyrics of "Lucky a Hundred Times" are matched by startling gratitude ("sighing at the cold bedside / 'mother, won't you tell me when it feels likes flying?'") and the heartache of watching helplessly as a loved one struggles alone in "Marion, MT" is lifted with "swallow the stream you can't swim."
The lyrics and combination of old and contemporary sounds speak also to holding life loosely, to the cycle of inhaling and exhaling in our bodies, to the moments of silence and speaking in our lives. Six years changes a song, changes a person. You don't know where you will go next or who you will be in the going. For now, Shane closes the album with the title song, "My heart is where I started / I am westbound."