LEON will always be synonymous with the same night as one of my worst breakups. I spent the day crying, then pushed myself out the door. It wasn't the smartest decision given my mental state, but I stood there openly crying during all of LEON's heartbreaking songs. Did everyone look at me like I was insane? 1000%, but it was so cathartic, and it was exactly what I needed. She has this ability to pinpoint an exact feeling, and it hurts because of how precise it is. You know you've felt the same way before. Her new album Apart is a collection of songs that embody all the emotions associated with love and heartbreak, and it couldn't be a more on-brand album for LEON. The cinematic production, the timing of the strings, and of course, her incredible voice, all come together for the perfect album for isolation and reflection.
Head and Heart on Fire: With the vocal harmonies, the light guitar, this song is the intro. LEON takes us into a memory, the moment she meets someone and it feels perfectly bottled, something she can always keep and look back and remember. This song is the perfect prologue for the album.
And It Breaks My Heart: Already one of my most-streamed songs this year. You know that feeling when you want something to work, and it's just not right? Something isn't the same anymore, but you desperately want it to be? This song just embodies all of that desperation; it breaks your heart. The way LEON's voice flows over the dramatic strings and shimmering melodies send it all home. Are you in love with them or the memory?
Crazy/Stupid: LEON's music always has these hints of 60s French Pop, and it's sweet and nostalgic. This is all about the battle between knowing what you should do and what you want to do. "Sweet little lies" like "this is the last time" and the infatuation is at its peak, you keep wanting to push someone away but you just can't.
In a Stranger's Arms: Ugh, one of my favorite breakup songs. LEON has such a distinctive voice, and over just the light guitar, it feels so personal. I always like the positive outlook on breakups. You just keep getting back out there. It hurts first; you change your look, then you try again.
Chasing A Feeling: This whole album gives me main character energy, but this song just makes you feel like that girl—something about the spacey synths and dramatic piano. Maybe you're chasing a feeling and not a person, that addictive feeling of being in love and being wanted.
Falling Apart: LEON delivers her ballads so effortlessly. The light piano and those gorgeous vocals are all you need. This is the song where I'd probably start crying at a concert. "What do you do when you love someone but feel like you can't go on, no you can't go on. What do you do when you love so hard that you just fall apart, and you're falling apart inside." LEON is the queen of self-awareness, and I think we've all been at this point in a relationship. We love too hard, and sometimes it's too much.
Who You Lovin: Another fav, like who would even have the nerve to love NOT LEON, makes me mad. You know when you have an ex that you still have a hint of feelings for, and you just can't seem to shake them? Can you imagine the nerve of them moving on and thinking about someone else? The production on this is one of my favorites. It feels so dreamy, the symphonic strings, the overflowing choruses. It's always stuck in my head
Seventeen: Remember the feeling of meeting someone and wanting to soak up every minute with them? I know I've been in my apartment for the entire year, but remember that feeling? The shimmering undertones of this song give you the same effect. Like you're seventeen, and you're so infatuated. You want just one more dance, one more minute, and you don't want to go home just yet. When the strings hit, you're right back there, and it feels like you're floating.
Tell Me: This song feels almost like a little love note. It's short and sweet but provides the perfect little interlude, like waking up from a dream.
Die For You: I have been hyped about this song, and it's easily one of my new favorites. "Wine stains and glitter on the floor, grab my shoes, always the last one out the door," LEON paints the perfect picture. This CHORUS, that piano, it feels like you're flying. Queen of dramatic declarations, "Darling don't you know that I would die for you, I don't want to want somebody new," and you know you've felt the same way about someone.
Apart: The title track is the perfect closing to this album. Like you ripped a page from her diary, the vulnerability is palpable. "What if I don't know myself without you," she asks over the haunting piano, sometimes it feels like she's almost whispering. True-to-form, the vocals in this song are absolutely stunning. Her repetition of "now I know nothing at all" at the end breaks my heart.
Music aficionado and editor-in-chief at The New Nine. I'm most at home at festivals and concerts. I would love to start a band of all Kanye covers all on keys. I'm a dedicated Jack White fan and when I saw him in concert it changed my life. I'd never seen someone so passionate about music and preserving its history. Every project he does I just worship. Follow me on Twitter and Insta: @etreadgold