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Review: Leo Harmonay – ‘Naked Rivers’

by admin August 26, 2020

Review: Leo Harmonay – ‘Naked Rivers’

A singer, songwriter, and experienced blues harmonica player, Leo Harmonay has made his name by writing and recording soulful folk tracks that spark with poetic imagery and heartfelt vocals. Living and recording at home in the quiet Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, Leo has long-since described himself as “an old soul that had lived in the shadows for many years,”, but with the release of ‘Naked Rivers’, all that might be able to change.

Led by the self-titled single, the new album is an exploration of lost opportunities and wasted time, bringing together a collection of bold, and wonderfully honest personal musical statements that aim to be both thought-provoking and emotionally accessible.

Opening with the evolving acoustic chords of ‘Patterns’, Leo’s new album creates an instant appeal, emerging as a melodic take on more alt-folk sounds. Second cut ‘Labor Day’ arrives with a rustic and timeless charm, bringing to the fore a glistening stream of gentle guitar and soothing harmonics. It’s a delight to hear, building on the lingering tones of its predecessor and laying down a glorious foundation for things to come.

Songs such as ‘Contours’ and ‘The Ballad of the Unknown River Driver’ showcase more versatile shades of Leo’s sound, while ‘Lost Summer’ and the title track shine as two of the most impressive moments on the album.

While not the most immediate release, ‘Naked Rivers’ has a lightness and emotive quality that cuts straight to the heart and soul of its audience, layering charming folk sounds with a nuanced, tactile sound that most artists can only dream of exploring. Proof of his talents if nothing else, ‘Naked Rivers’ is easily Leo’s most accomplished and impressive release to date.

Score: 8/10

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