Ara Lee’s solo EP “Born,” recorded earlier this year at Portland’s 8 Ball Studios by local musician and engineer, Rob Stroup, and produced by friend and colleague, Kathryn Claire, is a stunning debut of songs that came out of a year that she says was “surrounded by birth and death.” After a friend’s sudden passing and Ara’s subsequent pregnancy, she was inspired to capture the songs that were swimming around in her head. “It felt like the veil between worlds was thin… my friend Felipe went through one way, my daughter came through another, and these songs came through the same place. It felt important to get them out.” The result is a collection of chill-inducing songs that range from the utterly simple to what feels like a full-on tribal moon ritual. Aho, the initial track on the album written to honor her friend’s passing, is an arrangement of solely vocals and drums layered by producer Rob Stroup. Stroup said he’d never heard anything quite like it: “With Aho, Ara taps into something more than a song. It is a spiritual. And not a old hymnal spiritual - something much more ancient and significant.” Ara’s roots in the old hymnal spirituals of her youth in Appalachia are hard to miss, and this album marks a powerful launch for this songstress of blue-eyed-soul.
released November 22, 2014
Ara Lee – vocals, tenor ukelele
Kathryn Claire – violin, vocals (3)
Jeff Evans – djembe (1), guitar
Will Gibbs – upright bass
Chris Hayes – slide guitar
Zak Borden – mandolin
Rob Stroup – percussion (1, 5) vocals (5)
Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.