Airy, reverberant, floaty, spacious, the new Spirits of Leo is everything you’d expect from a Spirits of Leo release. Here are the touches of Joy Division, the Cure, and My Bloody Valentine that Ryan Santos Phillips blends so well into his own unique style, with touches all his own such as the very un-Joy Division castanets in “Shadow of a doubt.”
And did I catch a nod towards the synth line from The Cure’s “Closedown” in “Eyes and Ears”?
The vocals are strong and well layered. The guitar hooks are solid and well balanced with the other instrumentation – just listen to the outro hook on “Annika’s Song” for example.
There’s a delicate balance at work in the lyrics – on the one hand, looking outward, encouragement and hope:
“You know what you are /dancer in the dark
hiding in the shade / afraid of what you are” – Shadow of a doubt
“Heal, don’t feel confused / Try, it won’t take you long” – Eyes and Ears
On the other hand, looking inward in doubt, uncertainty,
“I fell hard, broke every bone in sight / … always fading away” – Coda
That sense of balance is carried perfectly in the uplifting, ebullient, shimmering arrangements that are vehicles for emotions deeply felt and thoughts carefully meditated upon. You should download this.