LEØ’s debut EP is mesmerising, mature electronica
Newcomers LEØ have just dropped their debut EP Young. It’s not often one comes across a debut release of such quality, but this Brisbane three-piece have barely put a foot wrong across these four tracks. Particularly worthy of note are the stunning vocals of Chloe Pilkington, which fall somewhere between the high-pitched power of Grimes and the classically styled, soaring beauty of London Grammar’s Hannah Reid. With a theme of relationship breakdown spread across the EP, LEØ demonstrate startlingly mature lyricism and production work for three people who are still only twenty years old.
A wonderfully melancholic yet alluring vibe simmers through each song, blending delicate guitar work with minimalist, often fuzzy percussion. Back up vocals from Callum MacDonald and Joshua Black hint at influences from the xx, but all of these layers are restrained, wholly giving way to the poignant lyrics and enchanting voice of Pilkington. Having introduced more synths and electronic production recently, LEØ are able to craft tracks that build beautifully, layering synths to wonderful effect – in particular on ‘Skin’ and ‘Closure’.
“Young is something we have been trying to piece together since the start of 2016. Originally it was going to be made up of our old songs, which included our first two singles ‘The Wolf’ & ‘Linger’ which were released in late 2015. As the year progressed however, we started using synthesizers and Ableton a lot more, which totally changed our way of writing, and the three of us are just so happy with the outcome of our very first EP.”
But LEØ should be more than just happy. Young is a stellar debut, hypnotic and melancholic, showcasing rare vulnerability and raw emotion. It’s an incredible first hit-out, and we can’t wait to see what comes next.
Listen to Young above or on Spotify.
Words by Ted Dwyer