Watch Odie Leigh at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

Music Features Odie Leigh
Watch Odie Leigh at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

Odie Leigh joined us on our second day at the Coral Snake Austin for our Paste East Austin live sessions. Leigh makes an impression before a single word escapes her mouth, with her guitar decked out in green strings (and matching green laces) and relaxed attitude, she charmed the whole room well before our cameras were rolling.

Full Session

For her first song, Leigh played “Conversation Starter”, the debut track off her album Carrier Pigeon releasing July 12th via MOM+POP.
“Conversation Starter” is about getting in your own way for fear of intimacy, ruining something before it has a chance to hurt you.

“Conversation Starter”

Leigh sings “I’m bad at starting conversations/ Apart, I’ll have my reservations / Do you, do you really want me bad” and “I’m good at turning nothing to tragedy / I’d rather get burnt now / I’ll light a fire just to snuff it out” echoing her insecurity that something will fall apart and sabotaging herself before it does to try and prevent pain.

Near the end of the song, Leigh requested the audience participate with her “on the count of three, I want you all to scream as loud as you can,” she said before counting and letting out a yell, with the room joining her in tandem as she finished the song, garnering cheers from the crowd.

In conversation with Paste Session host Brad Wagner, Leigh discussed her current move from New Orleans to Detroit. “I’ve been living in a trailer for the last four years and it’s been tough. It’s been nice because it’s granted me the opportunity to be a full-time musician, but it was time for me to try something new.” Leigh added “I’ve been on tour for the last couple of months and Detroit is like no other city, so I bought a house.” she said excitedly that she was looking forward to it despite only knowing two people there. “I went there once with my friend and when we left he had already bought a house. I like to surround myself with ‘do’-ers and we did.”

For her second song, Leigh played “Chutes & Ladders” from her 2023 EP The Only Thing Worse Than a Woman Who Lies Is a Girl Who’ll Tell Truths, a song she says is “about a person that she never even really dated, but it was tragic nonetheless.”

“Chutes & Ladders”

“Chutes & Ladders” is vulnerable, raw and earnest. It’s steeped in the kind of pain of lost potential, of something wilting before it has a chance to bloom. Leigh’s voice trills through the pre-chorus and refrain, as she sings “Oh I fear I’m doing better / With no hands to comfort me” followed by the crushing hook “I’ll prеtend love’s Chutes and Ladders / ‘Till the game stops playing me”. Leigh has a talent of illustrating vivid scenes with her words that place you as a spectator through her emotional journey.

Before jumping into her last song, Leigh discussed being given clothing from her fans. “It started on my first tour, where people would come up to me and give me knitted goods and crocheted hats, and it just kept on happening.” She mentioned that she now has a massive bag full of crocheted items from fans, including three full coats, and that these items make her feel deeply connected to her fans. Leigh has an engaging air about her that is warm and inviting, one that makes you want to be her friend and exchange life stories.

For her last song, Leigh played “Crop Circles” from her 2022 EP How Did It Seem To You?. “Crop Circles” has a charming quality that almost compels you to bop along to it. The image evoked in the song, that of pacing your room so much that your rug forms shapes of crop circles, is both creative and realistic, as so many of us can relate to anxiously pacing back and forth around our space.

“Crop Circles”

The lively melody belies the heaviness of the lyrics, as “Crop Circles” deals with feelings of frustration, anxiety, and a harsh self-criticism. Dichotomous lyrics like “And I, I don’t think I’ve changed / No, and I’m too scared to stay the same” showcase the inner storm brewing in the narrator. “Crop Circles” rounded out the previous two songs and was a beautiful end to her session with us.

Thank you to Odie Leigh, Coral Snake Austin, and our friends at Ilegal Mezcal for helping us put together these East Austin Block Parties. Stay tuned for the following weeks to see more recordings we have in store!

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