LEILA ABDUL-RAUF announces new album 'Phantasiai' + shares lead singles

The multifaceted musician embarks upon another solemn solo endeavor.

Photograph by Dawn Howard

If you've enjoyed Vastum, Ionophore, Cardinal Wyrm, or Fyrhtu, you've encountered the work of one of the underground's most prolific musicians, LEILA ABDUL-RAUF. Among her involvement in a variety of top-tier death metal outfits, the Oakland-based LEILA crafts a much tamer, much more spiritual collection of hymns as a solo artist. She now announces her fourth solo full-length record, Phantasiai, which arrives on July 16th via Cyclic Law. Like the elegant Matthew Jaffe cover it sports, Phantasiai is a journey of pure grace, luring listeners in with haunting melodies and keeping them there with ambient textures. Those with an itch for the cinematic scope of Dead Can Dance will find themselves at home here.


LEILA comments:


"In Hellenistic philosophy, phantasiai are our impressions, the ways in which the world is represented through our senses, preceding actual thoughts. This is where music-making lies for me: in the space between senses and thoughts, having the power to express where words fall short. What I believe to be the coldest and most sinister album I’ve released under my name to date, Phantasiai is comprised of two suites, each containing four movements, composed almost entirely from modulated live trumpet, glockenspiel, and vocal performances.”

She adds:


“I encourage listeners to create their own stories about Phantasiai, but here is my own. The first suite, ‘Distortions In Phantasy,’ describes a character being seduced and consumed by a powerfully addictive phantasy, one so destructive, the body, mind and spirit are annihilated beyond recognition. As the album moves between tracks I through IV, listeners may experience a gradual sensation of seeking deeper into an abyss. In the second suite, ‘The I Emerges,' the character experiences a renewal in which what little is left of the former self is vaporized through a crucible of sorts, then re-organized into a new physical and spiritual existence. The pain of the loss experienced by the former self is gone, but adjusting to the new self is an uncomfortable and disorienting experience, with reality perpetually coming into question."


Stream Distortions In Phantasy 1 and III below and pre-order your copy HERE.

leila abdul-rauf
Cover art by Matthew Jaffe