It's been two fertile years for Yhan Leal since he released his last recording. Quietly determined, Leal has come from busking nightly outside Bellingen's local supermarket, to developing a career as a bona fide touring and recording artist.
Leal’s new album, the eponymous Yhan Leal, was recorded between Leal’s home in Bellingen and in various Sydney studios with Producer Ryan Miller. The new full length album contains all the ethereal dreaminess, melodic guitars and haunting harmonies that are the hallmark of Yhan's hypnotic style, but also takes a new direction with the augmentation of a full band and production on several tracks. Themes of love, loss and grief, travel, peace and freedom, are explored with a maturity and honesty, that has developed with Leal's own journey of genuine musical evolution.
"This is a beautiful album" - Paul Gough
“Born the son of Colombian poverty, reprised a migrant under Australia’s burnt sun. Raised by an angelic mother in wilderness scrub. The youngest of four brothers, I didn’t walk the path of a modern nuclear family. Seeking freedom from hardship my eyes and heart opened to a new way of living. Young and hungry I found my path in music.”
This is the story of Yhan Leal, a truly gifted musician with a powerful personal story. As a boy growing up in Cali Colombia life wasn’t easy. Classical guitar came naturally, working his magic on Lennon, Elvis and Richie Valens. Writing his first compositions to suit his older brother’s poetry he nurtured a pure talent for songwriting. Music marched through his teens and to the stage. The turmoil came too, and his path took route through buddhism and bouts of meditation. Having ridden the undulatory throws of life, a man emerges wise and courageous with music that moves those inescapably drawn into his circle.
There is no pigeon hole for Leal’s music, but if one was to categorise the genre it might well be Post Folk. Drawing similarities to luminaries Patrick Watson, Devendra Banhart, M.Ward, Angelo De Augustine, Sufjan Stevens, Milk Carton Kids, and James Vincent Mcmorrow