Lhasa de Sela - “Lhasa Live in Reykjavik”
When I first discovered Lhasa de Sela, her music shook me. Everything she has released seems so raw and powerful to me. I immediately had to find out everything I could about such a great singer and writer of songs. It had been a long New Year's night of listening to her music and being inspired in that up-all-night kind of way.
The next day, New Years Day, 2010, I looked her up, hoping there was more music than I had heard so far, and looking to see if there would be more new music from her soon – and that’s when I discovered that she had died that very day, after a twenty-one month long battle with breast cancer. I was inexplicably heartbroken over this person that I had never met and knew nearly nothing about until that moment. Over the next few years, her albums became precious relics to me that I would visit when I needed to be inspired. I never listened to those albums casually. There was no way for me to do that.
You can imagine how surprised I was to discover that this new Lhasa record was released at the end of last year, and although it is a live album and contains no new material it is still a great experience to hear more of her.
Live in Reykjavik was recorded in May of 2009 on the first date of the tour to support her third album, Lhasa. It’s a well-produced recording with some incredible live instrumentation. Whether she sings in English, Spanish, or French, Lhasa’s voice is phenomenal, and constantly transcends the physical world altogether. Between songs, she is gracious and well-humored, sharing small details about her songs with the audience. Overall, Live in Reykjavik is a stunning recording that is a must-listen for Lhasa Fans – but if you have not heard Lhasa before, this is a great introduction to her work.