Alva grew up on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, an hour east of New Orleans. In 2005, she moved to Nashville to study religion and literature at Belmont University, performing and writing on the Nashville circuit all throughout university. During her freshman year, she released her first album with Mike Odmark on indie label Esperanza Plantation (The Weeks). The spring after graduation she made her debut as Alva Leigh.
With pretty melodies and lush vocals that nod to the likes of Rilo Kiley and Regina Spektor, Alva’s brooding piano pop has already received commercial success over in the States when her single 'Calling Me' was used in an episode of the TV medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.
Alva's newest album, Modern Love Songs dances between joyful celebrations of love, introspective contemplations on loss, wistful stories from her southern past. Produced by John Mark Painter (Ben Folds), the album is full of classic folk-pop songs with lush, genre-transcending arrangements. The title track, an "undeniably catchy pop song" about staying in love was released as a single on Alva’s own label in March 2014. Songs like 'Somewhere' and 'Be My Baby’ illuminate the beautiful yet subtle country tones – reminiscent of Patty Griffin – in Alva’s vocal. A sense of timelessness prevails on the reflective piano-led ‘Salt of the Same Ocean’ and ‘Breakers of Our Own Hearts’, which might have come from any decade in the last 50 years.
Modern Love Songs is available from iTunes, Amazon, and all other digital outlets. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a physical copy.
Alva also keeps a personal blog about songwriting, inspiration, fashion and life as an expat in London.
images from the making of MODERN LOVE SONGS