Land of Leland is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Justin Keller. The land here is that of Keller’s homeland: Spokane, WA. Now living in Brooklyn, Justin’s music still carries the spirit of the Pacific Northwest, with its calmness, open spaces, and defined seasons.
Primary Records first met Justin through Natty Green, whose group Pony Of Good Tidings is part of the Primary Records family. We asked to release some music by Land of Leland a year ago when we were putting together the first Primary Records sampler. Thankfully the timing is now working out, and we have his debut self titled EP.
This EP includes five tracks recorded by Keller, alternate versions of “Thief” and “Norway” and a suprising rendition of The Outfield’s “Your Love”. The 1985 epic power-ballad doesn’t seem too out of place amongst Keller’s own songs , but serves as a nice reminder that Land of Leland is making pop music. No matter how gently arranged or subtly realized, the music is unabashedly catchy.
Land Of Leland’s unique pop vision comes from Justin’s diverse musical background. He studied Jazz at New England Conservatory. He moved to Brooklyn. He began playing woodwinds and banjo with Asthmatic Kitty’s gospel duo The Welcome Wagon, as well as our own Pony of Good Tidings. He also plays with Sarah and the Stanleys (a project of Auto-tune The News’ Gregory Brothers)
Through his time as a sideman, Land of Leland is always Justin’s home. Not only combining his influences, but providing an outlet for his writing that feels honest and direct. The melodies one hears in a Land of Leland tune are infectious and accessible. The lyrics hit you in a familiar place, a place that resonates in a personal and intimate way.
“Justin’s ebb and flow throughout the EP is great, he brings you to a sing-a-long and then hushes everything in the very next verse – stunning stuff here.” -SLOWCOUSTIC
“It’s got a peaceful winter-y vibe, his layered vocals hum and soothe, something like a lullaby. Lovely stuff.” -FRIENDSWITHBOTHARMS
“Seriously, this is splendid like no other.” -DANCEYRSELFCLEAN