The staff at opbmusic first met Gaelynn Lea back in May of 2016 at an NPR Music event at Doug Fir Lounge in Portland. She was fresh from being crowned as the 2016 Tiny Desk Concert Contest winner and was in the midst of what was her very first tour.

A little over a year later, things have dramatically changed for the Duluth, Minnesota, native. She quit her job, sold her home and hit the road full-time in an effort to seriously pursue a music career. Over 200 gigs later, Lea has emerged with news songs that will be included in a full-length album set to come out in early 2018.

Lea joined us in the OPB studios to play songs from that record and chatted about life on the road with a disability (she has Brittle Bone Disease and moves with the help of a wheelchair), her obsession with self-help books, her longstanding friendship with Alan Sparhawk of the band Low and much more.


Audio recording and mixes: Steven Kray
Videographer: Nate Sjol
Editor: Nadya Klimenko
Interview: Jerad Walker
Executive Producer: David Christensen