Iona Leigh’s unique sound has been described as gorgeous vocals floating over a folk tinged musical backdrop, with an intermingled sense of both tradition and the contemporary. While her music is cleverly catchy, it washes over the listener with a serenity that is rare in the modern pop world, and the stories contained within her songs come to life with foot stomping rhythms, melodic arrangements and vivid lyrical imagery. Iona’s talent for song-writing is clear from her poignant lyrics, which make reference to nature, ancient legends and myths. But it is her striking voice, drawing comparisons to such individual artists as Sheila Chandra and Tori Amos, that heralds her arrival as a significant new artist.
Iona left her birthplace of Sydney, Australia at the age of 8 and moved half way across the world to the remote fishing village and community of Findhorn, in the north east of Scotland. In accordance with the philosophy of the Steiner School she attended, Iona had restricted access to television and spent most of her time playing her harp, writing songs and singing to her mother’s alternative music collections in the cozy bungalow they called home. Music was woven into the fabric of Iona’s life in Findhorn, as travelling musicians came from far and wide to perform in the community’s renowned Universal Hall. These alternative and traditional musical influences, combined with her deep love for the wild tumbling waves of the Moray Firth have all been uniquely captured in her new album; ‘Beside the Waves of Time’, to be released on April 6th 2009.
The album, produced by Nick Turner, employs a full contemporary folk band (complete with drums), and features some of Scotland and Ireland's finest musicians including Jarlath Henderson (Pipes), Duncan Lyall (Double Bass), Findlay Napier (Guitar), Mary Ann Kennedy (Harp), Paul Jennings (Drums) and Gillian Frame (Violin). One of Iona’s stunning and emotionally enticing songs on the album; ‘Trees’, is being used to raise awareness for the charity ‘Trees for Life’ as part of their efforts to regenerate the depleted Caledonian forest.