By Ela Moss
On December 10, 2023, Odie Leigh, fresh off her European tour, played at The Sinclair in Cambridge, much to the delight of New Englanders everywhere. If there’s anything to know about Odie Leigh concerts, it’s that they’re guaranteed to brighten your mood and leave you with new friends.
Shoulder to shoulder with college students from all over the Northeast, we waited for Odie Leigh by making new friends. The crowd of people in the vicinity of the center barricade all came as individuals or pairs but quickly formed a conglomerate, getting to know each other based on music and location. The ease with which friendships were made speaks to the kind of people Odie Leigh’s tour cultivates and is noteworthy in concert culture, where occasions for socializing to this degree aren’t exactly standard.
Before long, opener King Strand joined the stage to tide the crowd over until Leigh was ready to appear. Strand brought what I’m sure was a completely new sound to the ears of Leigh’s attendees. His Instagram bio describes it as “really bad jazz,” but it was far from terrible. Strand sang with wicked tenacity, getting us all on our feet, hopping back and forth to his seamless blend of English and Spanish lyrics, and intermittent kazoo solos. Kind Strand is true to his name, having summoned a regally provocative and lively beat to contemporary jazz.
When Odie Leigh finally came out, the crowd welcomed her with wide-open arms. Although her discography may be small and therefore leaving listeners wanting more on Spotify, it’s a blessing seeing her live, as it means Leigh had time to deliver almost every song of hers with perfect conviction.
She cycled through them all, sweetly inviting us to accompany her three different times by pausing the show and teaching us how to sing in harmony with her. Repeating lyrics like “I’m gonna take back some of my time” were chanted, reverberating through the small room. She justified these moments of being joined by the crowd by subtly saying it’s “too depressing to sing alone.”
Odie Leigh is best known for her song “Crop Circles,” a catchy guitar-picked melody reflecting on being a little bit stuck in the past and moving forward to new changes. Much of her discography expresses similar sentiments, most notably in the songs “Take Back,” “A Month or Two,” and “Double Shift.” Another common thread is her references to kindness in the lyrics “All I ask of you is be kind, be kind to me” in “Bigger Fish” and “Don’t be kind, be wise” in “Nothing New.” Her music is generally soft folk, with occasional hints of spunk that could be considered verging on pop.
Leigh put on one of the most therapeutic concerts I’d been to for a while. It’s obvious how deeply her music resonates with her audience, and combined with the cozy size of The Strand, the connection between us and Leigh was surely felt throughout, and truly memorable. Her music is captivating in every essence, making it completely impossible to not keep rapt attention.
Odie Leigh’s on the rise, so be sure to get tickets to one of her shows and relish those intimate moments because she’s sure to make a bigger splash soon.