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Lea Thomas becomes one with nature on “Hummingbird”

lea thomas
Lea Thomas – “Hummingbird”

For Japanese American songwriter Lea Thomas, indie folk serves as a bridge in which she makes sense of the world within herself and within nature. Her first record, Want For Nothing, saw Thomas utilizing an honest approach to folk for self-reflection, while 2018’s acoustic Part Of This Place EP and 2019’s ambient-folk collaboration Blue of Distance had her contextualize her life within a grander scope of nature. 

Thomas’ latest single, “Hummingbird,” is a hybrid of familiar indie folk soundscapes intertwined with contemplative lyrics. Based on a uniquely and unforgettably beautiful dream in which the singer dissolved into a pool of saltwater and re-emerged as a large white wolf, boundless and free,” Thomas uses the idea of rebirth to transcend the limitations of physical life and become one with nature and the universe on “Hummingbird.” The song’s instrumentals, which feature harmonized slide guitars, placid drums, and a triumphant horn section, ground delicate and lightweight vocals that dissolve into light, sound and color (“Where I felt my body disappear / Into light, sound, color”).

The corresponding video, made by Carter Lou McElroy, is a stop-motion visual which follows cutouts of Thomas traversing between mountain ranges, oceans, and galaxies before transforming into the white wolf mentioned in the song’s lyrics. The medium strikes an interesting balance of an imaginative use of scale and background while remaining somewhat rigid in its frame-by-frame movement. It’s a simple yet effective way to depict the ethereal dream. 

“Hummingbird” is out now via Spirit House Records.

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