LEO – “Murf”

leo music

Taking a cue from lushly melodic gems from various genres, from the Beatles and Tame Impala to J Dilla and Frank Ocean, Jon Holt crafts entrancing music under the alias LEO. Based between Portland and Michigan, Holt shows throughout “Murf” his multiple strengths. His vocals are airy and capricious in the vein of Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox, similarly capturing a Beach Boys-esque surf-friendly falsetto between the mellow bass line and yearning synth pad. Combining elements of psychedelia and Afro-pop, Holt’s sound is immediately engaging. The effervescent guitar solo around 02:40 is also a thing of beauty, in both its tone and structural placement.

For a project that started two years ago in a basement especially, LEO is clearly headed to great things. Holt’s own aim is absolutely accomplished: “to capture the sense of wonder and awe of being whisked away into a sonic dreamscape, to bridge the gap between the future and the past, to stir emotions through the manipulation of sound.” Stream the new EP’s other two tracks below:

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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