LESLIE BLACKWELL LILES is the driving force behind Sommer Saffron’s latest release. She wrote all of the songs on Dream, and she recorded all vocals and instruments. Sommer Saffron is Leslie Liles.
Leslie grew up in the Atlanta, GA, area, where she studied classical piano and had dreams of becoming a concert pianist. A love of pop music and a college class in electronic music set the course in a new direction, as she began writing and recording her own songs.
Today, Leslie wears many hats – singer/songwriter, elementary music teacher, pianist and accompanist, recording engineer and producer. She also sings soprano in her local community choir. Leslie currently resides in Fresno, CA.
Leslie’s music combines elements of pop and electronica, with vocals that are sometimes airy and wistful, sometimes focused and energetic. We first hear the leading song, Ebb and Flow, with its’ smooth, downtempo groove and seductive vocals. This is followed by Avatar, with a sound that is upbeat, lively, and quirky, with layered harmonies in a retro pop style.
Included on the CD is a dance track, Vitality that features a repetitive, airy, vocal motif over a driving instrumental background. Also included is a beautiful ballad, Climb that is full of longing, and Solitude, a more abstract song that incorporates the sound of the ocean and a poem written by Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Ocean).
The water is featured in several songs, and the music sounds almost meditative at times. There are recurring themes of relaxation and self-reflection. In this time of unrest, Sommer Saffron clearly wants you to relax, unwind, and enjoy yourself.