Trip hop meets pop duo Sophie Lindinger and Marco Kleebauer have been pushing the boundaries of pop music since they first met over 10 years ago. Making music under the name LEYYA, the pair’s 2015 debut album, Spanish Disco, propelled the band to astronomical heights, with the band touring the entirety of Europe and being nominated in their home country of Austria for the Amadeus Austrian Music Award.
Sophie and Marco are now back with their newest track “Zoo”. Full of bubbly, electronic rhythms, and an interesting sitar inclusion, the upbeat singing of the chorus echoes elements of songs such as Lily Allen’s “Fuck You” with Sophie’s paradoxically soft vocals telling people she doesn’t give a shit what they say about her. A stunningly sweet track, the whimsical tunes will get this song stuck in your head for hours and you won’t even be mad about it.
Currently working towards their second album, we caught up with Sophie to get the goss on the exciting band.
How did you two meet?
Marco and I originally come from the same little town in Austria where it is quite hard to find someone with the same musical interests. So it was a matter of time for us to meet and collaborate. We’ve now known each other for over 10 years and since we’ve met we’ve always made music together.
Do you have similar musical influences?
We started from a different point – Marco was very into experimental electronic music whereas I saw myself more in a singer/songwriter surrounding. But we met somewhere between electronic and pop/rock, developed our own sound, still do, and now even share similar influences.
How would you describe your “sound”?
It is hard to describe our sound with just a few words, even harder to name a genre. Everyone refers to it differently, but we move somewhere inside pop music. We combine harsh and heavy elements with soft and subtle ones to keep it interesting and what is most important is that we play all instruments by ourselves, record everything by ourselves and instruments we can not play ourselves, we ask our talented friends to play them for us. We sample in very rare occasions, just to capture a certain sound. We do not use any sample libraries or pre-produced stuff. We want to keep it organic.
What do each of you bring to the creative process?
We start every song differently to freshen up the writing process and to never fall into old habits. That means, that we both write, record and produce together. The only things we do not change are me writing the lyrics and Marco doing the mixing of the songs. All the other parts are mixed up every time to keep it more spicy.
“We never want to release songs similar to others we’ve done before.”
How did you come up with the band name “LEYYA”?
The name ‘Leyya’ has originally been the name of my singer-songwriter project that emerged to us being a Duo. Marco always says, ‘If you still like the name after a few weeks – keep it“. That’s what we did.
Can you tell us about your newest track “Zoo”? What was the inspiration behind the song?
The inspiration came while watching a Sitar-lesson on the internet. It set a certain mood we wanted to transfer with our song as well. It was very meditative and that’s what we wanted to combine with our way of songwriting. The name “Zoo” somehow describes the way we combine different instruments and genres and connects with the lyrics as well.
Does it differ in style from your 2015 debut album, Spanish Disco?
We develop our sound as we develop ourselves through time. The new songs, are way more on point, the vocals are more upfront and it became more important to us to merge genres and instruments we didn’t think of before. We both think, that the point where you stop developing your sound is the point where you should stop creating music. We never want to release songs similar to others we’ve done before. So hopefully it will always be different.
You’ve got a few festivals lined up for this summer. What is your favourite thing about performing live?
We love the variation. We don’t use any backing-tracks or laptops on stage to keep everything open. When we see the audience dancing and having a good time during a song, we spontaneously decide to lengthen a certain part. You can’t always prepare for what is going to happen and that keeps it interesting.
What else do you have planned for this year?
We are currently working on our second album and that is our priority. We do play a few festival shows in summer in different countries and are very much looking forward to that as a welcome change. We keep the rest open and are looking forward to what may be coming in the future.