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We already know Léanie Kaleido to be an astute songwriter and a fantastic musician, just one spin of her album How To Weigh A Whale Without a Scale, tells you everything you need to know about her abilities. So it was fantastic to see her join forces with long-term friend and guitarist Mark Foster to form this new venture, Karamelien.
The band’s first release was a part cover, part reimagining, part original take on Top Topham’s “Ascension Heights”, a natural place to start since Léanie is his daughter. So that makes this, their second single, the first real chance to judge the band on their own musical merits.
And, of course, they pass the test with flying colors.“Lionhearts” is a song about finding the positive drive to make a difference in a world where war, disease, political turmoil, and inequality are rife. The world that we seem to be walking blindly further into with each passing day.
But if the backdrop and instigation for the song may be dark and forbidding, the song itself is nothing but sweetness and light. Not just the spark of hope that sits at its (lion)heart but the delicacy of the song’s delivery itself. If musical references are needed, it is to the ambient pop of artists such as Dido or Bat For Lashes that you need to look, and that is exquisite company indeed.
That said, the track is nothing if not original, and the combination of Mark Foster’s cascading and shimmering guitar arrays and Léanie’s gorgeous vocal tones and chiming piano is just the light in the dark we need right now.
Gorgeous, understated, invigorating, and life-affirming, but did you expect anything less? Music like this just might save us after all!
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