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Lenka Biography

"I'm really in my element," says Lenka as the wind chimes sound and she surveys the forest outside the Woodstock, NY recording studio where she laid down the final tracks of her self-titled solo debut and is now noodling around on a few other tunes. The natural setting clearly reminds her of home - not her adopted home of Los Angeles, but the Australian bush, where she grew up.In Sydney, Lenka went on to become a teen actress who trained with Cate Blanchett, thereafter landing leading roles on stage, television and in indie films, a self-described "punk-ass art school student" and vocalist/keyboardist for acclaimed indie electronic/ambient outfit Decoder Ring. Now she has flung herself into two new worlds simultaneously: she's moved to California and become a solo artist. But no matter where she ventures, those early memories follow. Others may struggle to get in touch with their inner child; Lenka never lost hers.Her sinuous vocals drape around her lyrics with the ease of a child hanging onto its mother's legs…or of a serpent wrapping itself around the neck of its prey. Whether channeling our long-repressed terrors ("Trouble Is A Friend") or long-lost innocence ("We Will Not Grow Old"), her music evokes primal emotions, unblemished by pretense or cynicism - and unashamed of cracking a smile occasionally.Lenka's fresh sensibility extends to every element of her music, as the whimsical, paper art, stop-motion animated videos she creates with fellow Aussie James Gulliver Hancock, a visual artist, demonstrate. "We're sort of an art duo. I'm really into craft styles, things looking a bit badly done and childlike on purpose - rather in the vein of Michel Gondry," she says.Alternating between art school and acting (including roles in well-received independent films such as "The Dish" and "Lost Things"), Lenka eventually came round to music when a role in a play required her to sing. She began recording demos in Sydney and her drummer, who was a member of Decoder Ring, suggested his band mates consider her as a vocalist on the soundtrack they were recording for the indie film Somersault. The film and soundtrack went on to receive numerous awards and Lenka and the band traveled to the U.S. in 2006 for an appearance at South by Southwest and a short tour.She began recording her debut last December in Montreal before the contract was even signed. After sessions there and in Los Angeles, Lenka wrapped up the album in Woodstock. With a little time on her hands, she was free to lay down an unlikely assortment of cover songs (including Modest Mouse's "Gravity Rides Everything," "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music and M. Ward's "Vincent O'Brien") and muck about in the forest, making little videos that will undoubtedly wind up on YouTube once she gets around to editing them. Woodstock may not be home, but it's close enough for now.

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