Local band Leo*Leo describes themselves as “a bi-coastal duo with a deep love for warmer climates.” Whether you’re from the West coast or East, you can already relate to the duo without even having clicked play on their new EP, Side One.

Despite the band’s desire for sunny days that Boston can’t provide year-round, Leo*Leo’s sound is just as well suited for the four-seasons cycle of New England. The first song, “You,” has airy, raspy vocals that make you want to walk through a snow storm, getting mad at that ex-significant other (or the weather). It’s a song about anger, about loss, about confusion: “We fabricate / to gauge the benefit / of forgetfulness.” Even though the song is comforting in its relatability, the harsh sound leaves you feeling a little cold. That’s why “Dancing Queen” comes next. The first lyric—“ I know that look when you’re getting all depressed”—again gives the listener an opportunity to connect with Leo*Leo, but this time it’s to a blood-pumping tune. If “You” was the emotional winter, “Dancing Queen” is the blooming spring.

Next comes a drunken, boozy number, the type of song that Molly Ringwald finally kisses her prom king to in that late night 80’s rom-com you’re watching. The lyrics of “Water” describe drinking and dancing and taking “what you need.” Lyrics like “water streaming down their faces” and “looking for the setting sun” conjure up images of autumn rain and early sunsets. Gentle doo-wops murmur in the background like the tip-tap of water on a window pane.

Nowhere is Sarah’s experience as a recording engineer more apparent than in EP closer “Fever,” which begins with soft drumming and ambient soundboard effects. Pair that with Vanessa’s vocal range and style, and you get Leo*Leo’s key to success. On “Fever,” the band plays up a beachy sound with echoing melodies and wave-reminiscent sound effects. Given the band’s affinity for the heat, it’s logical that the EP ends on a summer song.

Although the seasonal changes from song to song are intriguing enough on their own, perhaps the most impressive part of Leo*Leo’s EP is its high production quality. Compared to the band’s earlier covers (such as Drake’s “Hold On,” which was recorded on an iPhone), Side One brings a level of sophistication that’s up to par with more famous alt-rock bands’ albums. For a band that spans coast to coast, Vanessa and Sarah inject a lot of cohesion and professionalism into their first release.

Album Review: Leo*Leo - Side One
Pros
  • Clean production
  • Varying song tones
  • Great intros and transitions
Cons
  • Limiting instrumentation
  • Flat sound at times
8Overall Score

2 Responses

  1. Lea

    WOW…I love discovering new sounds and new music through you guys! This will for sure be playing in my car 🙂

    Reply

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