LOW LEAF: PALM PSALMS

February 10th, 2017 | Album reviews

LOW LEAF
Palm Psalms: A Light to Resolve All Darkness
Creator DIY

If you follow L.A.’s eclectic jazz/beat scene, you’ve likely heard Low Leaf. The Los Angeles native (born Angelica-Marie Lopez) has lent her harpistry to artists like Robert Glasper and Flying Lotus, as well as built up a sizeable catalog of experimental vocal electronica. Palm Psalms is her first record on her Creator DIY label, and from a glance at its website—which contains sustainable farming instructions alongside Lopez’s own musings—it’s easy to infer how the record fits into a much larger vision of artistry and spirituality. An acolyte of the late Alice Coltrane and sometime collaborator with her grand-nephew Lotus, Lopez’s music has always had an astral flavor. But Palm Psalms puts Coltrane’s powerful influence front and center: many songs dissolve into spiraling free jazz, luxuriating in the ether before snapping back into woozy rhythms. “Dreaming Awake” builds upon wordless breaths, vibraphones and field recordings, coalescing to form a bossa nova groove fit for a futuristic weed dispensary. And centerpiece “Sun Psalm” turns a prayer “for the new dawn to rise and clean the hearts of all humanity” into a lush epic, with strings swirling around Lopez’s voice and harp as she weaves together soothing mantras. It’s a thoroughly relaxing and rejuvenating experience, not unlike the artist’s group sound baths, which she runs from her Highland Park home. Enter consciously and respectfully, trust her with your time, and let the music carry you far away—or somewhere deep within.

— Zach Bilson