REVIEW: LeeSun’s Need to Make Music is the Listener’s Gain

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If you talk to musicians on a regular basis, you come to realize that a lot of them make music because it’s essential to their sense of well-being. On her website, LeeSun declares, “that creating and producing music is vital to my sanity and being.” That message comes through loud and clear on her new album Singing You this Song.

The title track is where she most clearly spells out her need to make music. In it she muses about how her life would be different if she had grown up in a different place or wore her hair a different way. The biggest question is if all of those things were different, “Would I be singing you this song?” Between the irregular beat and the trumpet in the background, this has the feel of a Tom Waits song.

A recurring theme on the album is the importance of being yourself rather than the person others want you to be. “My Life” is one of the songs where this theme occurs. The melody of this song is jazzy (complete with a trumpet part by Danny Gough) and catchy. LeeSun sings, “Life’s to short and life’s too long to spend regretting that I don’t belong in your little world, in your little dreams. I don’t want to be you it seems.” It’s a powerful message set to a bouncy melody that is sure to get your head moving. “It Is What It Is” is another song with the message of being satisfied with who you are. This is a beautiful song that features an acoustic guitar part that is the perfect compliment to the strings played by Tom Sidebottom. In this one, she sings, “Don’t distract yourself because no one else can be you in this moment.” She also makes the point that the moment is never perfect, but that you should enjoy each moment for what it is.

The album closes with “We Are All Made of Stars.” This is a folk song featuring just acoustic guitar and vocals. It is so mellow in tone that it feels a bit like a lullaby. It also has the sort of dreamy feel of a Mazzy Star song. When you get to the end of the song, you realize just how powerful it is. Furthermore, you realize that the song is so powerful because it is so simple and so beautifully performed.

Part of the charm of LeeSun is that her vocals are different than a lot of singers you hear. Like Carla Bruni, she sings in a breathy voice that you can tell is not affected by a lot of studio tricks. You hear her real voice, and it is incredibly charming as she delivers these 13 heartfelt stories. The album is part folk, jazz, and pop. No matter the style of the song, you can’t help but feel something. At a time when many albums are over-produced, LeeSun is a breath of fresh air for giving the listener a real musical experience. Singing You this Song was released on October 29 and is available everywhere now. Order your copy here.

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