Artist Profile

Odie Leigh

Americana/FolkIndie
Upcoming Shows
Oct 10
Odie Leigh
HI-FI
Buy Tickets
Artist Bio
Music
Videos
Show Archive

Odie Leigh would never have called herself a musician before the depths of the 2020 pandemic, when her rapper roomies made a bet: Whoever records a song that goes viral first, wins. Slightly ticked off that they hadn’t included her in the wager, she decided to hit them with her best shot, and Odie was crowned the victor when a track she wrote blew up on TikTok. “I was like, ‘I’m gonna show y’all. I’m gonna win,’” she recalls, laughing. “Then I woke up to a bunch of comments on TikTok being like, ‘Oh my God, release this. This is amazing!’ Now, I’m a musician.”

Four years after posting what she calls “that silly joke song” on TikTok, Odie Leigh has continued to transform and evolve as an artist — from what she calls “acoustic, ethereal folk sad girl music” to a harder-edge tunes that flirt with early Aughts pop-punktivism. That trajectory culminates in her first LP, Carrier Pigeon. “All the music I’ve released up until this point can kind of be thrown into the indie folk acoustic genre,” Odie says. “But I never set out to make Americana music. I never set out to make folk music. I’m just a girl with an acoustic guitar.”

The fact that Odie Leigh never set out to make music is key here. Unlike a lot of musicians who grew up picking out tunes on toddler guitars or belting it out in garages, Odie never pictured herself on stage. Born and raised in Louisiana, she sang in the church choir, sure — her grandfather built the building, after all, and her family attended three times per week. But after moving to New Orleans to study English, she fully intended on making her bones in the film industry. That 2020 wager changed things, though, when she realized that she could win hearts in addition to bets. Although she’d taught herself to play guitar as a child, Odie didn’t know that much about music from the get-go, but she was inspired by the likes of ‘50’s singer-songwriter Connie Converse and her out-of-the-box style. “I didn’t realize that music could be like this. It was all so unique and not pretentious,” she says. “I was like, ‘I can do this.’” Her first real single, “Ronnie’s Song,” followed in 2021, a sweetly silly track she wrote to cheer up a friend. Coming from the film world, she found songwriting freeing, unbound from the rigidity of screenplay and discovered that simplicity can be a strength.

She released her first EP, How Did It Seem to You?, in 2022, about a situationship gone wrong. Recorded everywhere from Louisiana to Miami, “That first EP was born out of desperation to feel heard and be connected,” she says. “Releasing that EP is probably like one of the scariest things I’ve ever done because it was just so real and embarrassing. All of my music is stuff I would never say out loud.” In 2023, Odie Leigh dropped her second, EP, The Only Thing Worse Than a Woman Who Lies Is a Girl Who’ll Tell Truths, which was recorded in the woods of Tennessee. “That second project was definitely like the edgier, angrier step up from: I’m a girl that makes folk music,” she says.

After those releases began gaining steam on social media, Odie Leigh started hitting stages hard — an impressive show of hustle for someone who never really dreamed of life on the road. Nevertheless, she toured Europe, North America, and played Newport Folk in 2023; she also has festival gigs like Shaky Knees and Kilby Block Party, among others, later this year. Odie eventually achieved many an indie musician’s dream when she signed with Mom + Pop in 2023, mostly due to their diverse catalog: Yes, she’s made Americana music in the past, but she’s no one-trick pony. She craved the room to stretch and change and scream. And for Carrier Pigeon, she did just that, teaming up with a producer/musician Derek Ted — and infusing the 10-track suite with a more hard-edged sound, and plenty of fun. “I wanted to call it Carrier Pigeon because as I was writing these songs I just kept on thinking how silly it is that I’m writing all these thoughts and feeling down about someone and for someone who is only going to hear it months if not years after I write it,” she says. “I was like ‘I might as well be putting letters in bottles and throwing them into the ocean or just strapping it to a pigeon and hoping it lands at the right house.’ This album is the carrier pigeon and the songs are the messages.”

Album opener “A Good Thing” showcases Odie Leigh’s new sensibilities as she goes from tentatively considering talking to a crush to almost wailing: “It’s hard for more me to not romanticize every man I meet.” “I feel like it’s the perfect opener, because it slowly brings you into my new sonic world,” she says. “The entire record is me falling in love.” The ebullient “Already (on My Mind)” follows — a simple song, Odie says, about infatuation: the early stages, the terror and excitement of new love. She wrote “Party Trick” in that same vein after an incident in the Airstream trailer where she lives. She was getting ready to meet friends at the Day of the Dead parade when she found herself almost paralyzed — door wide open, one shoe on — agonizing over texting a boy she’d met on Halloween. Instead of picking up the phone, she picked up the guitar — finishing the track after an exhilarating experience ziplining with fans in L.A. “All of these things were happening, but yet I was still sitting here thinking about this boy,” she sighs.

We get past the first-text paranoia on “Conversation Starter” — a glorious sugar rush — in which Odie Leigh debates how to flirt with her new guy without revealing all her quirky weirdness right off the bat. “The song is me showing all of my insecurities,” she says. “But it’s also not not about sexting,” she adds with a laugh. Things get considerably more “cutesy, and hopesy” on straight-ahead-rocker “No Doubt,” which is about, well, having zero of the titular doubts. “I can be stuck in my head and worry all I want, but at the end of the day, I know how I feel. You got me if you want. I’m here,” she says.

“Finer Things” honeys in next, a “moment of chill on a sometimes not-chill album,” followed by the achingly lovely “Either Way,” velveteen vocals on full display. “It’s one of the songs that, when I wrote it, I was like, ‘Is this amazing? Or is this the worst thing I’ve ever written?’” Odie Leigh says, laughing again. “But I feel like songs like that always end up being ones that are actually good.” After the song’s dizzying denouement, Odie gets a little wicked, darkly ruminating on being in the bottom of a ditch of “Common Denominator” and entering her villain error on “Idiom.”

The record wraps with “My Name on a T-Shirt,” Odie Leigh’s “angry-girl song” about ditching a dude after he shows up to a gig with…you guessed it, her name on his shirt. Here, Odie’s ethereal sad girl takes the backseat as she nearly growls about being a “loser” and a “full-time sinner.” Nevertheless, it’s kind of a triumphant image for a woman who bet against her more experienced roommates that she could break the Internet: getting so big a love interest fanboys out. In the end, Odie did show us all. And she’s having an absolute blast.

CONNECT:
May 21
Odie Leigh
HI-FI
Buy Tickets

Be the first to know

Subscribe for show updates, ticket alerts, merch deals and exclusive subscriber perks.