It is about time we have this chat. If you have not heard of LÉON, the Swedish pop sensation, yet, you have some catching up to do. If you already belong to the lucky ones graced with knowledge of her music, just see this list as a nice little summary of her career so far. So, the facts: LÉON is the stage name of Lotta Lindgren, born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1994. She has been writing and singing songs from a young age on and with her producer Agrin Rahmani, decided to upload her track ‘Tired of Talking’ on Soundcloud. LÉON, modest as she is, expected about 500 plays, but Katy Perry shared it on her Twitter and ever since Sweden’s next big thing has been dropping EPs like there is no tomorrow. A full debut album is still in the works and we are eagerly waiting. Until then, enjoy LÉON’s best moments so far!
01. Tired of Talking
The track that started it all. Chris Anokute, a veteran in the record industry who helped Katy Perry and Joss Stone before with their careers, reached out to her after he heard the track and told Vogue: “The sentiment and stories she tells are tangible, and the lyrics are captivating.” I couldn’t agree more! She perfectly words the frustration of giving everything to a person and getting nothing back. As a bonus, we also get a humongous pop chorus to go with it. Incredible!
02. Surround Me
‘Surround Me’ was LÉON’s summer single this year and if this does not give you a bit of a warm feeling, I don’t know what will! Lyrically it is all about not wanting to end a night out alone, but with someone. It does not have to mean a lot, but she just wants to have a good time! Her vocals are at their most soulful here (she cites Amy Winehouse and Etta James as influences) and she once again delivers on the big chorus part, this time with a bit of a gospel vibe. Just when you think you heard it all midway through the song, LÉON hits us in the face with the ‘no don’t let me go’ hook. Then there is only one thing left for us to do: give in to the urge to sing along!
03. For You
Where ‘Surround Me’ is LÉON at her most carefree, on ‘For You’ she sounds more bitter than ever. Good for us to know though, that even when angry and disappointed she still sounds gorgeous! ‘For You’ is the title track of her second EP and lyrically it’s absolute fire. “You found someone, someone new, someone who could fuck you better”, she sings, before telling the person who left her: “messed up baby, you are messed up.” I feel like I am already starting to repeat myself, but again, the chorus is impeccable. The production is very much on point and LÉON shows she just has a great ear for catchy hooks! The raw edges of her voice are the finishing touch here.
04. Think About You
It is safe to say that ‘Think About You’ is the biggest song of LÉON’s career so far with more than 20 million streams on Spotify, after ‘Tired of Talking’ of course, which already has over 50 million. ‘Think About You’ might be her most radiofriendly work to date and it has that big singalong chorus, the kind some artists spend a lifetime trying to write. Listening to this, you can’t help but wish you had a characteristic voice like her, which would make the singing along a bit more bearable for the people around you.
For those of you who are wondering after hearing all these midtempo soulful pop tunes: Can LÉON slay a proper power ballad as well? The answer is yes! May I present to you… ‘Liar’! Give LÉON a piano, maybe some strings and she will just belt away about this person who lied to her and did her wrong. You know what is even better? She hits every note when performing this live as well, sure to give you chills!
‘Body’ is LÉON’s most recent single, released on the 25th of August. It’s her most sensual yet, especially in terms of lyrics. She sings about a summer love that was never meant to last, but still leaves her heart broken. “I keep thinking ’bout your body, I keep dreaming ’bout your body… Are you thinking ’bout my body too?”, she sings with a longing in her voice. The instrumentation and melody progression on this one does remind me of the golden days of Fleetwood Mac and that is never a bad thing!