Artist Spotlight: Son of Levi – Rock/Pop/Indie

By on May 29, 2012

Pop, Rock, Indie 

Los Angeles, CA 

Coldplay, David Archuleta, David Cook, Muse 

In 2008 LA-based singer-songwriter Chris Levy lost his father to brain cancer. Levy’s father was a singer-songwriter who became a businessman but still satisfied his artistic interests through managing his son. After loosing a father and a partner, Levy bravely decided to start anew with a symbolic gesture: He took on the name Son Of Levi to both honor his father and his heritage. Son Of Levi’s album, Always, released January 31, 2012 on DreamWave Records, is an album of healing. “When I was writing the album, I met my girlfriend, now my wife. I had lost someone I loved but I gained someone I love,” Levy says. “That’s the beauty of the album—it juxtaposes the pain of death while embracing love. That those two can coexist in the same time period is astounding.”

Chris Levy, the face of Son of Levi, began his singer-songwriter career in 2007. He experienced instant recognition while still recording his first album Never Fear when his song, “What You Feel,” was placed in CW’s Smallville television episode, “The Beast.” Though thousands of viewers heard the song and sought its source, few were able to discover the real artist behind the music until a special interview was released through various Smallville fansites. Chris later released the album in July 2009 opening the door to several performances around L.A. including: The Mint, ASCAP EXPO, and Renaissance Hollywood’s Indie Thursdays. After several shows at Indie Thursdays, Chris was chosen as Artist Of The Month and was given a showcase. Levy’s father passed before the album was released and in the introspection following the death, Levy started to feel disconnected with the sentiment of his current body of work. The music was darker, more aggressive, and reflected an anger at life that no longer resonated with him. He was inspired to change his name to coincide with songs created from a more hopeful outlook as a result of the new changes in his life. The resulting album is Son of Levi’s Always, an epically romantic album with sweeping dynamics and bold emotionality.
“’Chris Levy’ was the old thing I was working on with my dad,” Levy says, referencing his dad’s managerial role. “I needed to be able to reinvent myself because I didn’t have that support system anymore. The way I wrote songs changed, the sound changed. It was now less aggressive and more melodic. With this album, I’ve come to terms with my father’s death and I’m embracing new love in life, becoming more optimistic and seeing things differently.” The ten-track album was executive produced by Levy and producers Jon LaCroix and Steven Harriton. The album’s first single “Frozen Door” begins with poise and poignancy, the intro is vulnerable with crystalline piano and Levy’s gentle, plaintive voice. It’s a transporting song that swoops up to soaring and redemptive piano rock. Chris tenderly sings: Beyond the frozen door my heart/I never wanted to end our time this way/All that I want is to be with you please stay. “’Frozen Door’ is about me looking back on never having a relationship with my dad. He was always busy working, he was a businessman,” Levy says. “I was frozen and numb cause of all the negative things. His passing made me get more in touch with my feelings.” The stunning track has already been nominated for awards by Hollywood Music and Media Awards.

The sweetly spare “Always” is a jewel of a lullaby on the album. It’s a track floating with love and optimism and it showcases Levy’s strongest vocal performance. On it his voice is limber and emotive with a gorgeously wide vibrato and technically masterful and expressive phrasing. He sings: The days are short but if they’re spent with you/ I know that you’ll see me through/ Oh Oh the days are short but if they’re spent with you/ I know that you’ll see me through I know it’s true.
Levy could feel his father’s presence when making the album. “There were lot of weird moments, I felt like the baton was passed. My dad was a musician and an artist when he was young. When he was my age, he was doing the same thing as me, and that inspired me to become a singer songwriter,” Levy explains. “I would listen to the songs [from Always] in the mixing process and hear me sing them, but they sounded exactly like him. I felt like a small person as time stood still…was that me singing or him? The chorus of ‘Always’ literally sounded like him when he was young.” Levy pauses pensively, “As exemplified by my dad, life is really a transient thing—it comes and goes—he was here in my life then he was gone. People in this world don’t last, but what brought me of the darkness is love. Love is eternal; accepting love is accepting healing.”


Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.