Credit: La Dharma
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Credit: La Dharma
‘Birmingham based indie stompers with an 80’s pop edge influenced by The 1975 and Blossoms.'
The indie pop foursome La Dharma formed in the West Midlands, in early 2017, driven by lead vocal and synth player Chris Leedham’s passion for writing slick meaningful stories embedded within 80’s synthetic pop sounds. Inspired by great lyricists Matty Healy (The 1975) and Van McCann (Catfish and the Bottlemen), Leedham spent the early parts of his musical career crafting lyrics that bounce between passionate catchy choruses to quick almost tongue twisting verses. However, he never ultimately sought the limelight of being a lead vocalist, originally just seeking to be a synth player come songwriter. He worked with vocalist and childhood friend Jake Baker to bring his songs to life.
Soon after, Leedham and Baker were joined by another childhood friend and guitarist Daniel 'Jonah' Jones. The three bonded years before during their time playing Sunday League football in their home town of Cannock, West Midlands. Jones specialises in deceptively simple yet infectious guitar riffs, reminiscent of his idols Johny Marr and John Frusciante. After experimentation, these merged perfectly with Leedham’s ear for unique rhythmic lyrics - developed from his early interest in rap. This forged the signature sound La Dharma have today.
Completing the line up were bassist Mick Madera and drummer James Morris. The pair set out to compliment the La Dharma sound with a tight and funky rhythm section influenced by The Police and Led Zeppelin. The groove focused bass lines blend seamlessly with controlled, funk infused drumming, which provides a sturdy and style driven foundation. Known colloquially by the band as ‘The Rhythm Section’, Madera and Morris can usually be found converting any spare rehearsal time into a make shift contemporary Jazz gig, where they seamlessly blend stylish and timid 12 bar blues into a monstrous Jazz rendition of Seven Nation Army.
Unfortunately after a successful first year of gigging around the rapidly growing Birmingham scene, Baker and the band parted ways, leaving La Dharma without a singer. After a bit of persuasion from the band, Leedham stepped up the mark and the band haven't looked back since. His chilled out indie deliverance juxtaposes the emotional weight he puts into every sentence, creating a truly honest and encapsulating listening experience.
After the original success of the bands' debut single Devil in a Tight Dress, with plays on local radio including BBC WM introducing, and the the fan favourite second single She, the band have recorded their first EP with producer Andy Gannon at Sugar Mill Studios, Stoke-on-Trent. Hailed by Words For Music as ‘a wonderfully catchy and satisfying track’, Sirens, the first single from the EP and the first single with Leedham’s vocals, had it’s radio debut on 22nd September on BBC WM. With two more singles promised before the EP release in December, 2018 is quickly becoming a big year for the boys. So sit back, relax and get ready for big things.