‘Leslie Spit’ is an ethereal sound experiment and a bold introduction to the creative voice of Lindsay Hazen.
For Saint John-based musician Lindsay Hazen, music has been a lifesaver, a form of therapy and a tool for personal empowerment. Recently, the electronic artist and lyric soprano released Leslie Spit, the first official single from their project, Stellaleona.
Describes as “an unflinching look at their history with suicide attempts set to winding, bass-driven music,” Leslie Spit is an uncompromisingly original introduction to both the artist and the channels of inspiration they follow.
“My music is absolutely therapeutic for me,” said Hazen. “I’ve been a singer my whole life and my voice has been my lifeblood, the instrument I will spend the rest of my life exploring.”
Hazen uses their voice as both a means of creativity and a form of healing. Through the action of vocalizing sound and the subject matter they chose to draw from, Stellaleona offers Hazen an important outlet and a means of addressing their individual struggles.
“I first started turning to my voice to cope with my anxiety and panic disorders because the breathing exercises and vocal cord warm ups I learned in high school music class were incredibly similar to coping techniques I was learning in cognitive behavioural therapy, and worked much better for shorting out panic than box breathing.”
Their first single is in some ways a journal entry. Taking its name from the Toronto neighbourhood of Leslieville, Leslie Spit is a direct reference to a bout of self-harm the singer inflicted on themselves in the midst of a mental health crisis.
“The title is a play on the manmade embankment at the end of Leslie Street (called the Leslie Spit) and a time in which an attempt at self-harm literally had me cleaning my mouth out with soap,” the said.
“I’ve always kept personal poetry and song lyrics in lieu of a traditional journal or diary,” said Hazen. “In 2015, when I was preparing to move from Toronto’s East end to Saint John, I decided I was going to download Garageband and actually try and make the crazy noise and music I’m always hearing in my head into something real. Feeling capable of making my most abstract emotions into sound when I couldn’t elucidate them made me realize I literally couldn’t live without making music.”
After settling in Saint John in 2015, Hazen formed the Moondrip Collective, a collaborative writing project with musician Ian Livingstone (aka Artifiseer). The two have since released a pair of singles and through this project, Hazen found the courage to begin working on their first album as Stellaleona.
“Ian has been my closest collaborator, my best friend and an endless support system who gave me the courage to start writing an album,” said Hazen.
“Being able to stretch the limits of my voice using electronic production, to create tense atmospheres with keys unplayable by real instruments, and to look deep into the void where my deepest traumas lie and not let them make me fear being alive, but to be grateful to be alive to fear and feel…that is the true heart of Stellaleona as a music project.”
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