LÉON drops debut album three years after breakthrough
Swedish singer-songwriter LÉON rose to fame over three years ago when her single ‘Tired Of Talking’ went viral with Katy Perry’s seal of approval. Three EPs and a long string of singles followed until she finally started the campaign for her self-titled debut album. If you have been sleeping on LÉON so far, check out this list of her best tracks from before the album, as they are simply too good to be forgotten. Now that we have that sorted, let us have a listen to the long-awaited debut album, of which so far she released the singles ‘Baby Don’t Talk‘, ‘Falling‘ and ‘You And I‘.
LÉON and her team clearly decided to push the most upbeat and instantly catchy tracks forward as singles and especially with ‘You and I’ this was a smart move. This tune is a banger with a whirlwind of a chorus that deserves to take the charts by storm. The combination of the upbeat synth pop production and her soulful vocals is flawless and she proves once more she has an incredible ear for irresistible pop hooks. Although the rest of the album does not get as uptempo as this track, there are enough hooks, emotive lyrics and exquisite productions to discover.
For the album, LÉON worked with producers team ELECTRIC while she herself took on the task of arranger, while also playing keys and analogue synths. She starts the record with the song ‘Lost Time’, which combines her characteristic vintage vocals with the bombast of a modern pop production. The chorus is undeniable and LÉON’s voice has a quality that makes every hook sound larger than life. ‘Hope Is A Heartache’ is a more subdued piece of retro pop that takes us back to the early 80s. LÉON belts out some ethereal higher notes, taking us straight to pop heaven.
For every poppy tune, we get a ballad as well. On the moving ‘Come Home To Me’, it is just her voice and piano, while ‘Cruel To Care’ is recorded in voice memo style, with just guitar guiding her. The absolutely stunning ‘Pink’ starts out with a guitar riff that takes us straight back to the 70s, while the chorus is full of contemporary vocal effects. It is the most obvious case of her retro style and the modern electronic pop influences of her sound melting together.
LÉON carved out a sound that works for her voice and what she stands for as an artist. She brings different eras of pop music together with her powerhouse vocals, catchy compositions and universal lyrics about love and heartbreak. Hopefully the fact that she has an LP to her name now, will gain her an even bigger audience, because she thoroughly deserves it.
I’ve had this record on heavy rotation since its release. She took a traditionalist approach to compiling this record and brings multiple decades’ worth of influences to the table, but that voice glues it all together nicely. I agree that You and I is a definite standout — amazing chorus on that one.