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With her third album, The Capitalist Blues, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Leyla McCalla has written a potent collection of protest songs that weave their way through her Haitian heritage and the near decade she's lived in New Orleans. The Capitalist Blues is a snapshot of Leyla processing the current political environment with gnashing teeth, a raised fist and a sturdy belief in music's power to effect change.

Leyla recorded the album in New Orleans, and it represents her first time working with a producer. She recorded it with Jimmy Horn of King James and the Special Men, who also crafted the quilt featured on the album artwork. The album was primarily recorded at House of 1000 Hz studio in the Bywater neighborhood. New Orleans music is, of course, a big, spicy stew of influences. For her new album Leyla dove in, everything considered - like a hip historian. Jazz and folk, Cajun, Zydeco, rock, and a significant Haitian influence. Leyla sings on the album in English and in Haitian Kreyol – and wrote her first original song in Kreyol as well, which she describes as a "language of resistance." She also collaborated with Haitian collective Lakou Mizik, who recorded on the album while in town to perform at the Jazz and Heritage Festival. 

There are many thrilling and eye-opening moments here: a scorching, almost post-punk dirge about violence in the city of Aleppo, a Sam Cooke-like soul take on lead poisoning in the water ("Heavy As Lead"), the 1% ("Money Is King"), finding love after the newlywed sheen dulls ("Me And My Baby"), the election of Donald Trump and heated demonstrations that erupted in New Orleans over the dismantling of Confederate monuments in there ("Settle Down").



  • Capitalist Blues
  • Money is King
  • Lavi Vye Neg
  • Penha
  • Heavy as Lead
  • Me and my Baby
  • Aleppo
  • Mize Pa Dou
  • Oh My Love
  • Ain't No Use
  • Settle Down

Leyla McCalla - The Capitalist Blues (Vinyl LP)

SKU: 3149027005678
  • $45+ Free Shipping

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