Today, Japanese American multi-disciplinary artist & singer-songwriter Lea Thomas releases stunning single/video “Heat Keeps Rising” via Guitar Girl Magazine, ahead of her new full-length album Mirrors To The Sun out this Friday via Johanna Warren’s Spirit House Records. This follows her cosmic single “Howl” which debuted on NPR and sparked praise across BTRtoday, The Guardian, BrooklynVegan, The Bluegrass Situation, and more. Inspired by reading about the ongoing climate crisis, the new song/video reflects on how strange and significant it feels to be alive in such electrifying times. She sings, “I’ll take a walk, taking nothing with me but the weight of my thoughts into the churning of the city”, the rawness in her voice is carried by a propulsive rhythm section and waves of overdriven guitar while guiding, surreal visuals follow her hypnotic vocals.
Thomas shares, “This song is a practice in continuing to ask the heavy questions even when it seems like there may be no immediate resolve. We recorded it live and left a lot of room for improvisatory exploration so we could see where those questions would take us– surely, towards a new perspective. The video is a surrealist take on how this song came to be: living through the experience, shifting into a dream-like place where sound, lyric and performance coalesce, then waking up in a new reality to write it all down.”
Lea Thomas creates worlds with her words, blending personal narrative with universal observations of both the mundane and spiritual, often in the same breath. Guiding her band between energies of introspection and exploration, focused calm and sweeping rhythms, her second full length solo record is a dynamic reflection on themes of transformation, belonging, and self-discovery. Inspired by poets and writers like Gary Snyder and Robin Wall Kimmerer, Lea Thomas has similarly found solace in the many metaphorical teachings found in nature. Her naturalist perspective permeates many of the narratives on Mirrors To The Sun.
Born in Hawaii and based in Brooklyn, Lea Thomas started her musical journey early, first with piano and then moving to guitar at 13 years old. A self-taught engineer, she left home at 17 to attend engineering school in New York City. In addition to her work as a musician, songwriter and producer, Thomas is a visual artist with a focus on hand weaving and natural dyes. Her frequent use of indigo pigment is symbolic of her Japanese heritage, honoring a lineage of kimono makers and textile artisans in her immediate ancestry. She is also a long-time student of traditional herbal medicine and produces a seasonal line of wild, hand-harvested herbal products under the name All In All Apothecary.