Creating anything and putting it out there for the public is daring. Music, like all art, is subjective and Neo/nu – soul band LEAH appear fearless on their debut album Zzz.
The album is called Zzz (Snore) because, as bandleader Leah Engevold explained ‘it was too boring to have to compose my way to a deeper meaning. I am very straight forward.‘
And if you check the cover artwork you’ll realise not much time or thought was spent there either. It’s not very often I think ‘my mum could do better’.
While the cover artwork may seem simplistic at first glance, don’t be too quick to judge, for within lies a collection of 10 tracks infused with a quintessential Norwegian essence. The effort put into its creation is evident, with profound lyrical content and meticulous production.
From the moment you hit play, you’ll notice the care and attention to detail that permeates every aspect of this album. The opening track, “Red Wine,” sets a soulful, laid-back tone, while ‘Silk Pyjamas‘, with its superb lyrics, injects infectious energy, complemented by a delightful horn section. Leah’s lyrical prowess shines throughout, with tracks like ‘Bestie‘ delivering catchy melodies and storytelling at its finest.
‘My Pleasure‘ stands as a personal favourite, exemplifying the hallmark of Scandinavian soul—authenticity and melodic clarity in storytelling. Leah’s harmonious vocals, intricate guitar chords, and soulful horns meld into a sonic wave that ebbs and flows, captivating the listener.
Bask in the sun-kissed, jazzy vibes, ‘Lovin’ It’. The track lives up to its title, driven by Leah’s lyrics and delivery style, along with impeccable musicianship. Whether played at a whisper or full blast, this track resonates, making it an audiophile’s delight.
Leah’s talent truly shines on the melancholic ‘Sad Party,’ where her impassioned vocals find a subtle yet powerful musical canvas. It’s a compelling showcase of her vocal technique, leaving an indelible mark.
Rounding out the album, ‘Stupid‘ ventures into a jazzy, dance-infused realm, seamlessly blending genres and styles into a cohesive, atmospheric track. Bursting with originality and vibrancy, it’s a delightful listening experience.
While I’m one of the few reviewers to scrutinise cover art, I can’t help but return to it. A more captivating design could help this album stand out amidst the sea of playlists, enhancing its ability to convey mood and atmosphere. It’s these small details that can elevate a song or album to success and make it more memorable for listeners.
In conclusion, LEAH has firmly established themselves as torchbearers of their generation’s soulful musical talent. Zzz is an album that demands your attention. Rest assured, you won’t sleep through this sonic journey.
Playing this collection, you realise how detailed and meticulously crafted every element of it is. Shame about the cover art though.