Suffolk’s Leon O’Leary returns with his new single “China Heart’, an emotional, ambient stunner packed with beautiful moments.
Having made an impression on his local scene, sparking widespread interest in his ambient Ben Howard-esque sound, Leon has been growing as an artist and a songwriter, showing more and more promise with every release. ‘China Heart’ continues this chain in a compelling fashion.
Unafraid of letting his emotions rule the music he writes, ‘China Heart’ is awash with musical beauty and poetic lyricism. Driving drums underline reverb-drenched, shoe-gazey guitar lines, warming bass and Leon’s breathy, sensitive vocal delivery, intensified by layers of stunning harmonies courtesy of both the man himself and Isabel O’Leary. Intense and reflective over its five minutes, the track is melancholic and beautiful whilst managing to perfectly capture all the energy of a live performance.
Painfully honest and uncensored, every word feels like a dagger through Leon’s heart, such is the sense of angst within the track’s swirling, expansive soundscape. Described as conveying the ‘hopelessness of a flawed man unable to change his ways’, Leon’s metaphorical lyricism manages to tell a story without being too obvious or laboring the point: “Winter came with the cold, oh the leaves the branches struggle to hold. Like you gone on the wind”.
Comparable to the likes of Slow Dive as much as it is Bon Iver and Ben Howard’s standout album ‘I forget Where We Were’, ‘China Heart’ once again showcases Leon O’Leary’s prowess as a songwriter able to create music that is truly expressive.