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LA Priest

LA Priest (pronounced Lah Preest) is the solo project of British musician Samuel Eastgate, who pivoted from the heavily electronic rock projects Late of the Pier and Sam Dust into more angular takes on art pop under his new moniker. After signing with Domino Records in early 2015, Eastgate followed in the footsteps of pop mavericks like Arthur Russell, Prince, and David Byrne on colorful and mysterious albums like 2020's GENE. Although Eastgate initially launched the LA Priest project in 2007 with a 12" release on Erol Alkan's Phantasy label, at that time he was primarily occupied with his duties as frontman for Late of the Pier. That group released one highly acclaimed LP, Fantasy Black Channel, in 2008, and a handful of singles before going on hiatus in 2010. Over the next several years, the reclusive Eastgate moved around, spending time in Greenland making sonic experiments and studying electromagnetic phenomena and apparently producing a number of secret, uncredited projects. He eventually settled down in a small village outside of Welshpool, Wales, where he re-emerged publicly in early 2015 announcing a deal with Domino Records under the LA Priest name. The first songs from the project were the singles "Oino" and "Party Zute/Learning to Love," both of which reflected his ambitious new direction. Debut album Inji arrived in June 2015, including both singles and eight other immersive art pop songs. In 2016, Eastgate teamed with former tourmate and fellow eccentric pop mastermind Connan Mockasin to form a new collaborative project called Soft Hair. The duo released a self-titled eight-song album (again with Domino) that featured the single "Lying Has to Stop." Eastgate was relatively quiet for the next few years, but he spent months building his own drum machine as part of the creative process leading up to his second LA Priest album, Gene. Released in June 2020, the record's highly composed songs were often guided by the rhythms of his homemade drum machine.
© Timothy Monger & Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Discography

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