Mackenzie Leighton is a rising San Diego-born, Paris-based indie folk singer/songwriter and musician. Leighton’s family moved to a small, seaside town in Maine, where she grew up. The San Diego-born, Paris-based artist can trace much of the origins of her music career to her father taking her to classical piano lessons as a young girl. When Leighton turned 18, she attended my alma mater, New York University — and while in New York, she played in several jazz and folk inspired bands.
Upon graduation, Leighton relocated to Paris. She landed a day job as a florist and launched a solo career with the release of 2017’s self-titled EP, a singer/songwriter folk effort that was released to praise and comparisons to Phoebe Bridgers and Julia Jacklin. Leighton’s sophomore EP, last year’s Tourist(e) was a decided change in sonic direction that found the rising American-born, French-based artist working with French musicians and producers while pairing folk-inspired songwriting with lush yet contemporary instrumentation and production. Leighton has supported both of her recorded efforts with shows in and around Paris, as well as with tours in Italy, Belgium and here in the States.
Fleuriste, Leighton’s third EP was released yesterday. Thematically, the EP finds rising American-born, French-based singer/songwriter and musician focusing on the reality of life as an expatriate, torn between two different cultures and hemispheres. Interestingly, Flueriste, continues in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor: the EP features Leighton’s folk-inspired songwriting and lush, modern production.
Earlier this week, I wrote about EP track “Un jour la vie.” Centered around Leighton’s coquettish vocals, a sinuous yet propulsive bass line, thumping beats and shimmering guitars, “Un jour la vie” is a playful and infectious invitation to dream of an escape to Italy, to drink endless Aperol Spritzes and to dance the night away without a care in the world. A wondrous dream considering the last 18 months, eh? The EP’s third and latest single, EP title track “Flueriste” is a hook-driven pop confection featuring shimmering synths, a buoyant bass line and Leighton singing the song’s lyrics in a gorgeous and breezy English. The song manages to address the plight of contemporary musicians unable to work — but hoping for a bright future of live shows, and all of things we missed so very much.