Leah Ashton, a Los Angeles based artist with Midwestern roots, will be releasing her first full-length album, Late Bloomer, on September 9th. Organically soulful with not-so-subtle hints of jazz and a nod to 1970s singer-songwriter pop, this record evocatively and earnestly addresses themes such as the passing of time, systemic injustice, and chasing after a dream. Influenced by the likes of Sara Bareilles, Carole King, Lake Street Dive, Bill Withers, and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Late Bloomer combines Leah’s uniquely powerful vocals, funky horn lines, and strong piano grooves to take listeners on a genre bending, pandemic era + election year journey from the perspective of a maturing woman coming into her own in her mid-30s.
Leah’s previous releases include a self-titled EP from Orangehaus Records in 2007 and EP Things Better Left Unsaid released independently in 2010. Upon moving from her hometown of Akron, Ohio to Los Angeles in 2010, Leah pressed pause on recording and releasing original music in order to pursue opportunities to work as a singer in LA’s music industry. She spent the next decade performing on stages such as The Hollywood Bowl, the Dolby Theater, and The Cannes Film Festival, working as a session vocalist alongside artists such as Andy Grammer, Matoma, and Michael Bolton, and touring throughout all of California, the Midwest and the East Coast with a variety of bands and shows. After all of this, in late 2019 she answered a call from within to return to her artist roots and began writing music that would later become Late Bloomer. “This album is dedicated to everyone who has felt the pressure of societal norms to achieve certain goals by a certain point in life. I’m doing things now, in my mid-30s, that I thought I would have done in my mid-20s. I’m at a place where I’ve lived a lot of life, learned a lot of lessons, and with this record, have a lot to say. Late Bloomer is bolder and deeper, both musically and lyrically, than any of my previous releases”, she says of the album that was recorded at York Recording in LA and that Leah co-produced with producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jonah Levine of LA’s Katalyst Collective, and her husband, saxophonist Eric Letta.
Three singles from the album, “Around Here”, an ode to Leah’s love/hate relationship with LA, “Burn It Down”, a powerful protest anthem, and “Better Days”, a funk song fueled by hope, were released over the course of the summer and are available now on all digital platforms. The full-length album, Late Bloomer, will be available digitally, on CD, and on vinyl, on September 9th.
To celebrate the album release, Leah will be performing/hosting a concert at The Goldfish in the Highland Park neighborhood of LA on September 27th at 8:00pm.