Austin’s Ley Line makes their Austin City Limits Festival debut October 13 —
November 21, 2019

Austin’s Ley Line makes their Austin City Limits Festival debut October 13

By Liz Lopez

Letitia Smith Photo

Austin world folk fusion group, Ley Line, is the musical merging of two duos. Austinites Kate Robberson and Emilie Basez met twin sisters Madeleine and Lydia Froncek at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2013. Since reuniting in Austin in 2016, Ley Line has been weaving together their individual journeys into a collective vision to unite audiences around the world. Their eclectic music explores balance and harmony between the unique perspectives of the four songwriters and instrumentalists.

Ley Line had a successful summer tour that included a stunning and intimate taping with Jam In The Van. The group recently released their new single “Oxum” (pronounced [oh-SHOOM]). The single was then recorded in May of 2018 at Good Danny’s Studio in Lockhart, Texas. Over the past year Ley Line has perfected the single with their co-producer Claudio Ramirez.

This is the last pre-release single before the band releases their full – length sophomore album in spring of 2020 that encompasses their inspiration from their three – month tour through Brazil in 2017. The album will be accompanied by a visual EP comprised of unique footage from that trip including live performances, nature, collaborations, folklore and the rich musical traditions of Brazil.

“Oxum” came to be in Alto Paraíso, Brazil, a place where crystal rivers and waterfalls run like ribbons through mountains and forests. The title behind the single is explained by Emilie, who states, “Oxum is the deity of fresh water. In Afro-Brazilian religion, Oxum dances in a gold dress, twirling with a hand mirror to gaze at her beauty. She is the symbol of the force that gives life and represents love, beauty, fertility and sensuality. This song is a celebration of life and our prayer for fresh water.”

Lydia goes in depth about how the single uses three languages and breaks down the characteristics of the song, “The chant beginning and ending the song originated amongst the Yoruba people and was taught to us by a Brazilian musician in Alto Paraiso, Brazil. Though the words come from central-west Africa, time and space has undeniably had an impact on how we have adapted them. ‘Yabá’ is said to mean ‘Mother Queen,’ a title given to both the deities of fresh and saltwater. Music holds memory, and these lyrics tell a story of our collective history, representing the way language, tradition and beliefs have traversed oceans and borders with the migration of people over centuries. We wrote the rest of the lyrics in both Spanish and English. The words speak to how the movement of water teaches us to find peace in the unknown and trust that which moves us. The lyrics are also a reminder that this vital resource is in danger, it is our call to respect, appreciate, and protect that which gives us life.”

Lydia goes in depth about how the single uses three languages and breaks down the characteristics of the song, “The chant beginning and ending the song originated amongst the Yoruba people and was taught to us by a Brazilian musician in Alto Paraiso, Brazil. Though the words come from central-west Africa, time and space has undeniably had an impact on how we have adapted them. ‘Yabá’ is said to mean ‘Mother Queen,’ a title given to both the deities of fresh and saltwater. Music holds memory, and these lyrics tell a story of our collective history, representing the way language, tradition and beliefs have traversed oceans and borders with the migration of people over centuries. We wrote the rest of the lyrics in both Spanish and English. The words speak to how the movement of water teaches us to find peace in the unknown and trust that which moves us. The lyrics are also a reminder that this vital resource is in danger, it is our call to respect, appreciate, and protect that which gives us life.”

Madeleine adds about how special the song is, “This single has an energy and excitement unlike any of our previous releases to date. It is a celebration, and also an ode to fresh water, the most important resource on our planet. ‘Oxum’ may be the best representation of our genre of World Folk Fusion. Not only does the song include three languages, Yoruba, Spanish and English, it also has musical elements from around the world. Sonically, this song illustrates the way that music is shared and spread across time and space, recycled like water to inform the creation of new sounds.”

Kate concludes, “The name Ley Line came from a theory about the energy channels of the earth that connect places of historical, geographical and spiritual significance. For us, it is a reminder of the way music guides our travels and connects the people and places that influence our songs. ‘Oxum’ is the perfect example of the power of music to bridge borders and tell a collective story through rhythm, lyrics and instruments.”

Ley Line members Emilie Basez (Guitar/Vocals); Madeleine Froncek (Upright Bass/Vocals); Kate Robberson (Ukulele/Vocals) and Lydia Froncek (Percussion/Vocals) play the Austin City Limits Music Festival (Weekend Two) on Sunday, October 13th. For information on the band’s upcoming performance this weekend and future tour dates, visit leylinesound.com

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