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LAist Interview: Leona Naess

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In one respect, Leona Naess’ current album, Thirteens, could be described in numbers. She spent four years crafting 13 albums' worth of songs from which she carefully selected 11 for her fourth album. But Thirteens could also be described in terms of raw emotion. For Naess, music became an outlet through which she could channel her grief after the tragic death of her father in 2004.

Thanks to unlimited time, supportive friends and some of the best songwriting of her life, Naess has created an intriguing, multifaceted record. From the rollicking “Leave Your Boyfriends Behind” to the reflective “On My Mind,” she takes the listener on a journey. In anticipation of her gig with Ray LaMontagne at the Wiltern this Thursday, LAist spoke with Naess last week to discuss the sheer volume of material she wrote for the record, how one uses coffee glasses as an instrument, and the 500 Polaroids she shot in London.

LAist: Does the name of your album, Thirteens, have multiple meanings?

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Leona Naess: Yes, it does, and you’re actually the first person who has asked me about it. The thing is, there are so many reasons I chose that title that I knew if I said that in a press release or something, I’d have to explain it every single time. So I just left it at the simplest reason, but there are many of them. It’s a significant number in my life.

Leona Naess - "Leave Your Boyfriends Behind"