“An interesting blend of genres, with the Nashville roots evident….Vocally there are hints of Judy Collins and Joni Mitchell” (Americana UK)
Today, British singer-songwriter LAYLA KAYLIF releases her new single: “As I Am”.
The latest track to emerge from Layla’s upcoming album ‘Lovers Don’t Meet’ (out 7th August 2020) is lush and mellifluous of sound, and arrives with an affecting video fit for our times.
Rooted in a timeless Americana sound, “As I Am” is rich with cooing harmonies, yawning pedal steels and sleepy acoustic arrangements. Though shaded with melancholy by Layla’s moving and emotive vocal, “As I Am” is very much a love song straight and true. Inspired by the works of Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, Layla reaches deep within to summon lyrics that will touch the heart and nourish the soul.
“The song lyrically speaks for itself.” Layla says. ““Broken as I am can you really love me”? There are some lyric references to Nizar Qabbani (Syrian poet). “Your love is like birth, like death…impossible to repeat”. I’ve always loved this line and wanted to put it into a song. The melody is more modal over that line, to give it that spiritual, otherworldly feel.”
The ‘As I Am’ single is coupled with a striking new video, recently filmed in Chinatown, London and various locations across the city. With Layla performing in a facemask upon the streets of the capital, the captivating visuals capture London and its people as they gradually awaken from the slumber of lockdown.
"I'm pleased with the result.” Layla reflects. “It's very 'now', and one of the few music videos that's been shot outside... My husband directed it so no social distancing rules were broken!”
Perhaps best known for her worldwide hit “Shakespeare in Love”, Layla Kaylif is an English singer songwriter, who blends Americana, country and folk sounds with her signature poetic and evocative lyrics.
After a period of time focusing on a range of other projects, in 2020 Layla officially returns to music to release with her third and latest album ‘Lovers Don’t Meet’ (out 7 August 2020). The culmination of a three-year period of writing and musical development, this seven track LP distils a short, sweet dose of what Layla does best.
Enriched by the words of lyrical masters like 13th Century persian poet Rumi (“Lovers Don’t Meet”, “99”), revered 20th Century Syrian writer and diplomat Nizar Qabbani (“As I Am”), and even Shakespeare on the Antony and Cleopatra inspired “Don’t You Know Me Yet?”; Layla channels her worldly influences into a collection of songs that are both spiritual and soul-baring by nature. The track “Let Me Count The Ways”, also references Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s seminal work Sonnets from the Portuguese; with the song notably penned to soundtrack in her directorial debut: The Letter Writer, a romantic drama set in the 1960s that will mark Layla’s first foray into cinema.
Recorded in Nashville and produced by Jason Hall (David Nail and the Well Ravens), the record features an impressive line-up of musicians including Reed Pittman and Matt Iceman (David Nail), Cornelius Perry (Francesca Battistellli) and Ben Owens on guitar. Hallmarked with the age enduring musicianship that could only come courtesy of the Capital of Country, ‘Lovers Don’t Meet’ pays apposite homage to a genre Layla has always loved so dearly, both as artist and fan. Wearing her influences on her sleeve, the resplendent closing track of the album “Don’t You Know Me Yet?” is intended as a special nod to the Leading Lady of Country herself, Dolly Parton.
Warm and wise, erudite and endlessly rewarding, ‘Lover’s Don’t Meet’ will be released by Layla Kaylif on 7th August 2020.