Back To Mine with Leoi

1. Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue

Bibio is able to express this really incredible range of emotions, and this magisterial album embodies some of the best of it. It’s truly genre-defying and incredibly colorful – at times distant, at other times very intimate, but always relatable and extremely detail-oriented. A great record to take on a walk with you on a sunny but cold autumn day. You still find new things popping up left and right even as you listen along for the umpteenth time.

Bibio - ambivalence avenue

2. Stimming – Reflections

If you ever feel like you are almost getting tired of electronic music, try turning to Stimming for some audio regeneration. His work really pushes the envelope in terms of what you can do within the genre. Obviously a lot of his innovation and influence comes from the organic, soulful yet very danceable percussion and grooves. But another thing to highlight, and which comes out especially well in the elegiac track “Kiss”, is sparse but masterful harmonic intuition. Add the long dramatic arc, and you arrive in a very different, more human kind of club.

3. Toro Y Moi – Anything in Return

Toro y Moi is just a phenomenon of its own. “Anything in Return” maintains a really consistent vibe throughout without ever boring you. It feels really easy and fun, with serious sing-along potential, but it’s easy to overlook the incredible attention to detail and sound design that makes it take off and feel so effortless. His emotive vocals really stand out on “Rose Quartz”, which projects a really fantastic attitude.

Toro Y Moi "Rose Quartz"

4. Girls in Airports – Kaikoura

Girls in Airports put together a really special melting pot of jazz, percussion-punctuated atmospheres and indie vibes. Kaikoura is an instrumental album, but you would never be able to tell. The Saxophones sing to you and you almost want to make up lyrics for them. “Grass by the Roses” is a standout hit with a really dramatic twist, but the album has many more stories to tell. Sunday morning recommendation!

Girls in Airports - Grass By The Roses

5. Radiohead – In Rainbows

One of a million interesting things about Radiohead is what we might call emotional ambiguity — some people hear it as being “sad” music, but behind that layer in fact, often it’s very joyful and liberating. In Rainbows is one of many highlights in their discography to embody this – hypnotic beats, deep emotion, and some of the most convincing melodies as in “15 Steps” or “Reckoner”.

6. Rosalía – El Mas Querer

Where to start with this one? The Flamenco vibes? The intimate vocals? The superb production? No matter which way you look at it, El Mas Querer is a really thoughtful fusion of many of the best things in recent popular music.

Rosalía - El Mal Querer Full Album

7. Beach House – Teen Dream

When this came out some of us were sceptical about what a third album could offer that hadn’t been said in the first two. Then, what was most impressive was how they managed to stay very close to their “core sound” but lifted the songwriting, atmosphere, melodies, lyrics, and emotions to another level. A confusing mix of sadness, joy, happiness – almost as if your life is broken while at the same feeling triumphant about it. Beach House’ singer Victoria Legrand said about the album: “I’d like to imagine people would listen to the album really loud. Or on headphones so it’s like there’s no space left anywhere in your ears.” A home-listening favourite.

Beach House - Norway

8. The Notwist – Neongolden

Most of our musical influences are from the Anglo-saxon parts of the world. At its release almost 20 years ago, Notwist’s “Neon Golden” was “groundbreaking” in the sense that no band had combined subtle electronics and melancholic vocals/lyrics with analog and rather classical indie-songwriting in Germany before. “Consequence” encapsulates the beauty, the hypnotic elements, as well as the poetic lyrics that are found throughout the record: “You’re the colour – You’re the movement and the spin – Never – Could it stay with me the whole day long – Fail with consequence – Lose with eloquence and smile – You’re not in this movie -You’re not in this song – Never – Leave me paralyzed, love – Leave me hypnotized, love”.

Notwist - Consequence

9. Department of Eagles – In Ear Park

Department of Eagles was the side project of Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen. While the creative duties of songwriting are shared in the context of Grizzly Bear, “In Ear Park” is filled with Rossen’s signature approaches to songwriting. Interesting and unique yet accessible chord progressions are usually what sets the scene, accompanied by beautiful vocal harmonies that don’t just accompany the main vocal line but sometimes even interplay with the main chords in interesting ways (i. e. making a major chord sound minor as on “No one does it like you”). These small and sometimes subtle details are what makes this album so special.

Department Of Eagles - Phantom Other

10. Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

There’s something inherently weird about saying you’re influenced by the Beatles – as if anyone wasn’t. It’s a bit akin to admitting, after a long pause, that you’re breathing oxygen. Still, Sergeant Pepper holds a special place in many hearts, and in ours too. Next-to-impossible to select a track there, but “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” has a very special attitude. “In his way, Mr. K will challenge the world!”

Good Morning Good Morning (Remastered 2009)

Leoi – Northern Beaches EP

Leoi is an indie-pop band split between Berlin and New York City. Vocal harmonies, a garden of synth melodies and ecstatic-yet-steady electronic drums characterize their sound. Their first EP “Northern Beaches”, co-produced by London-based Dom Goldsmith, is a fine showcase of their signature style and melodic imagination.  ‘Värmdö’ draws you into Leoi’s world with airy and alluring vocals that float above a sparse, rubbery rhythm. A tasteful breakdown brings new melodies and then big drums land to drive to the next level. The gorgeous ‘Pluto’ is awash with starry-eyed guitar licks and heartfelt vocals that soothe the soul, but later on, bustling breakbeats demand you dance. There is real beauty in ‘Amber’, another soothing lullaby that is transformed by soft but propulsive drums. Mellifluous chords and shimmering harmonics are layered in to add extra soul and last of all ‘Allegro Pastell’ is a breezy and downbeat gem. There is a Balearic feel to the guitars and pianos which ring out to an infinite horizon as more angelic vocals float in their midst. Northern Beaches is an EP drenched in lovestruck sounds and meaningful melody.

Leoi – Northern Beaches (Indigo Kin)
Release: 19 November, 2021
Format: Digital