Taking a break from her duties as vocalist and keyboardist for Australia's Decoder Ring
, songwriter Lenka Kripac
relocated to Los Angeles and began crafting eclectic, atmospheric pop songs under her forename. Her solo material took its cues from artists like Jem
, with Lenka
pitting her breathy vocals against landscapes of electronic drumbeats, horns, and twinkling piano. A former child actor who'd studied under Cate Blanchett, she also brought a sense of theatricality to her music, and Epic Records brought her aboard the label's roster in late 2007. Lenka
decamped to the East Coast to record her debut album in Woodstock, NY, with artists like Howie Day
and Missy Higgins
stopping by for quick cameos. She then settled in Los Angeles, where she played frequent shows at the intimate Hotel Café before her self-titled album, Lenka
, arrived in September 2008.
"The Show," the lead single from Lenka's debut, cracked the Top 40 in several countries, including the U.K, Switzerland, and Poland (where it climbed to number one). Meanwhile, Lenka became engaged to James Gulliver Hancock, the visual artist behind several of her music videos, and spent most of the following year touring the world. Her engagement figured heavily on her second album, Two, a collection of pop tunes and winsome love songs that appeared in early 2011.