The Chordaes is a New York City based folk rock project led by singer/songwriter/musician Leo Sawikin. A Renaissance man and self-described purist, Leo is a restless seeker of knowledge with a deep love of all things that come from the Earth. These two passions are the driving forces behind his music.


The Chordaes' moniker refers to the chordae tendineae of the heart, otherwise known as your “heartstrings.” “One of the things about this music is that it’s very visceral given the complexity,” says Leo. For me, the key to great music is having the best of both worlds—the complexity versus the raw emotion and the push and pull between the two. I want to tug at people’s heartstrings—and their brains. That’s my goal.”


Leo’s search for authenticity and expertise also inspired a love for cooking at an early age. “I’ve always loved food. I made my first grilled cheese sandwich at 8 years old and I was fascinated by the way food changes as it’s being cooked. As I got older I started noticing patterns in different foods from different cultures and I wanted to learn about how and why those foods were made and the science behind it. My passion for food is similar to music in that way—I’m just very interested in the spread of culture throughout the world.”


The Chordaes’ latest EP “What We Breathe In” delves deeper into Leo’s quest, reflecting on the lives of young people searching for connection and trying to find their way in today’s America. The collection tackles this creeping sense of powerlessness—both in the world and in personal relationships. With major influences that include Brian Wilson, Jimmy Webb, The Beatles, Radiohead, Simon & Garfunkel and Carole King, this is music that wears its heart on its sleeve—an urgent, moving collection that draws from multiple eras of rock, folk, and pop history to emerge as something all its own.


Guided by producer Marc Swersky (Joe Cocker, Roger Daltrey), the new EP’s Wrecking Crew- inspired recording process, with most instruments captured live and with minimal overdubs, has produced a timeless sound. The title track “What We Breathe In,” mixed by Kevin Killen (U2, David Bowie), is a true generational anthem, a declaration of our common humanity in a time when our leaders sow fear and division. The radio single, “Venus,” mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, The Revivalists) is about longing for someone who is out of reach but who holds power over one’s heart. “Sometimes we’re locked in place by forces greater than we are,” says Leo. “It’s about being in limbo with someone, being powerless to move closer to or farther away from them.”


The Chordaes continue to grow a fan base with regular live performances at NYC spots like Rockwood Music Hall and Mercury Lounge, while praise has rolled in. Deli Magazine says, Leo is “a vocalist who can touch hearts in ways reminiscent of unforgotten NYC hero Jeff Buckley.”  Record of the Day calls “Venus” “hook-laden, addictive and infused with heartfelt emotion, this is a wonderfully crafted pop song…monstrously infectious.”


As the single “Venus” embarks on its radio campaign during the summer of 2019, The Chordaes will continue to tour the East Coast, seeking answers to the questions of the thinking mind, while hoping to leave an enduring impression on the heart—or at least to tug a string or two.


The Chordaes…aren’t fitting in with anything;

they are redefining everything.” 

- Popdose

© 2019 The Chordaes. All Rights Reserved.

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