Rising indie americana artist Aly Aleigha and her band released their first full-length album in September 2016, a year after Aly's debut EP "Jealous Love." Starting as a ragtag group of musical friends playing local gigs (such as the Homegrown Music Festival in Duluth), they have since been swept up in a whirlwind of recording an LP ("The Labyrinth") and traveling around the USA performing their music. Inspirations for their sound include groups like The Head and The Heart, The Oh Hello's, Josh Garrels, The Lumineers, and We the Wild. Shortly after their Album Release Show in September, the band traveled to Paoli, PA to play at a music festival for over 3,000 people, where they received the "2016 Emerging Artist Award" sponsored by Relevant Radio. Signed for two major music festivals this summer, the band is humbled and excited by the positive receptivity to their music and look forward to what the future holds for them.
Though she always had a deep love for the arts, Aly Aleigha's musical talent was only ever expressed in her bedroom for most of her life. Aleigha has been writing songs and stories for as long as she can remember, though she did not seriously pick up an instrument until high school. Petrified of being the center of attention yet unable to contain the musical drive swelling inside her, Aly began to play guitar and sing at Church events in her high school years. "It has always been much easier to play at Church, because then it's less about me and more about glorifying the Lord," says Aleigha. During her studies at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH, Aly's parents encouraged her to record an album but she originally said no, feeling inadequate compared to the countless other musicians she deemed more talented and worthy of recording than she. Eventually, however, she felt she was being called out of her comfort zone and she conceded, cutting her first EP (4-track album) while graduating. Aleigha moved to Duluth, MN for work, where she met the rest of her band. The band's unique, eclectic sound drew national attention immediately. In the same month after releasing their first full-length album, The Labyrinth, the indie-americana music group was invited to perform and receive the 2016 "Emerging Artist Award" at AbbeyFest in Pennsylvania for a crowd of over 3,000.
A sweet sister on Twitter asked for a post on Catholic musicians, and since it’s one of my favorite topics, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favorites Catholic musicians who sing worship-ful music...
Catechist-Songwriter Aly Aleigha Finds That Songs Come From Prayer
Growing up in Wisconsin, Aly Aleigha's sister Jessica was the musically involved sibling, while Aly — who sang in choir but had no formal voice lessons — found even church musicianship intimidating. But Aleigha’s songwriting blossomed during a freshman-year pilgrimage to the Holy Land while a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. During her remaining college years, playing at Mass and singing at coffeehouses and “Festivals of Praise” in Austria, Aleigha found God “pulling [her] out of [her] comfort zone.” Still, when her mother approached her about cutting an album, she initially balked at the prospect — even though her high-school guitar teacher, John Freylack, had suggested the idea years earlier.
Eventually, Aleigha decided that the album was “what the Lord wanted me to do, so I offered it to him. My prayer from that day has been, ‘Lord, let your will be done. If this ever becomes about me, please take it away.’ Instead, he has been blessing it so much more than I ever could have anticipated.”
As a largely self-taught musician, Aleigha creates music resembling indie-folk, with influences from The Oh Hellos, Josh Garrels and The Head and the Heart — and that it gaining notice.
The recent Franciscan graduate has a big event next weekend: On Sept. 24, AbbeyFest will honor her as its first “Emerging Artist of the Year.”
ALY ALEIGHA FEATURED IN PODCASTS
"Seeing [Aly Aleigha] and the dynamic teaching style she had with those high school students was something beautiful to behold! She touched hearts and transformed a lot of lives by her presence in the classroom...it is clear she has a vocation to teach and has answered that call with such an open heart!"
— Fr. Shawn Roberson, TOR
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