Listen to Kelsey Bulkin’s debut EP Leucadia out today
The independent Califorina-born and based artist and producer Kelsey Bulkin today shares her debut EP offering, Leucadia.
Leucadia is a small neighborhood outside of San Diego, a beachside mecca where surfers, yogis, crystal shops and California mythology collide. It’s the place where singer, songwriter and producer Kelsey Bulkin grew up, and the title of her debut EP as a solo artist — a release that marks the start of a new chapter for a respected name in music.
Leucadia is Kelsey Bulkin’s story. The EP chronicles both her life in the small California town and her experiences since leaving it: the death of a close friend, break-ups, new love, motherhood, and meditations on life, death and spirituality. “I feel as if all the stories I’m telling in my mind and in my heart, they all happened in Leucadia,” she explains. “They all happened in my core. They’re all the stories I carry around inside me.”
The end of Bulkin’s collaborative project Made In Heights in 2015 was the catalyst for a small but powerful revolution: after five years in the music industry and newly pregnant with her first child she decided to produce and release music under her own name. “I figured it was time to bet high on myself”, she says. “I also realized owning my work as a producer wasn’t about skill but confidence.” Bulkin began to record the EP at home while nursing her newborn and functioning on little sleep. “Now that I have a child, I’m starting out again. Leucadia felt like the word for beginning and a new home, but also a return,” she says. “I think it has something also to do with finally accepting where I’m from, and owning up to my full story. It’s this giant dream that’s come back to me — where I come from.”
You can hear the landscape of Leucadia all over the EP’s five tracks — gusts of air and buzzing chords capture the feeling of sunlight sparkling over the bluffs, while her beats move from wavy r&b to miami bass. Bulkin stays true to her folk roots keeping the melodies relaxed and poetic, like Joni Mitchell covering a Janet Jackson song, or maybe vice versa. Bulkin returned to Leucadia with photographer Will Warasila to shoot scenes from the neighbourhood for the EP cover art.
Also driving Bulkin’s songwriting is her belief that women’s stories don’t end in their youth. “It’s so funny to have all these experiences, to have grown and have done so much, but feel like I’m just beginning,” she says. “I don’t know that I get to see a lot of women starting again at 33. And I’m really excited to.”
Leucadia follows the release of EP tracks ‘Samsara‘ and ‘Kareem‘, as well as two previous standalone singles Andromeda’ and ‘West Coast Drama’. Previous to this, Kelsey Bulkin was also featured on the track ‘Divide’ from ODESZA’s groundbreaking record A Moment Apart in 2017, collaborated with Canadian producer Jacques Greene on ‘Nordschlief’ and ‘Fever Focus’, and has songwriting credits for artists Rejie Snow, PARTYNEXTDOOR and more.
Press shot by Will Warasila
Leucadia EP Cover by Will Warasila
Leucadia EP Sticker by Luisa Lacsamana
Leucadia was written and produced by Kelsey Bulkin
Additional production by David Ansari
Mixed by Stephen Kaye
PRAISE FOR KELSEY BULKIN
“a majestic, low-slung sliver of steely electronic pop”
The Line Of Best Fit
“It’s a charming, soothing number thick with R&B sensibilities and this hazy, almost-DIY-feeling wash, combining glistening, washed-out melodies with a bright vocal line that softly floats over the top.”
“…the wait has been well worth it.”
I Oh You
“Bulkin’s music is synthy, surfy, and immersively ambient: A meditative exploration of sound, space, and emotion.”
“Bulkin gravitates towards a certain kind of electronic beats where her voice has a natural tendency to float right on top…”
KUTX Song Of The Day
“The production…completely envelops you, rushing into the chorus in a way that’s relaxing, meditative and overwhelming all at once.”