LÉON’s third album Circles is a transcendent, ethereal journey of perseverance that assures that the Swedish artist is a once in a lifetime gift to music.
For her worldwide listeners, this is old news. Having released two near perfect albums with 2019’s self-titled LÉON and 2020’s Apart, the Swedish indie pop singer has garnered a massive following but still somehow remains right on the cusp of superstardom. If there’s any justice in this world, it’s all about to change with the release of Circles.
LÉON, aka Lotta Lindgren, explores a new chapter of her artistry here with 70’s grooves and stripped back moments that showcase her angelic tone and soul-baring lyricism. The four promotional singles that preceded the album’s release- “Dancer”, “Soaked”, “Fade into a Dream”, and “Wishful Thinking”- all set the tone of what was to come perfectly, but the true standouts are the deep cuts gifted to us all now.
“Wildest Dreams” is without a doubt the highlight of the album and perhaps her career. The Springsteen like saxophones and build in production create an outro so euphoric, it feels as if her vocals transport us towards liberation. “Come lay your weight upon me, lay your heart upon me, what are you waiting for,” she belts out after the final chorus, and the vocal layering is nothing short of exquisite. Listening with headphones is absolutely necessary.
Another album standout is “Look Like That”, a sexy, nostalgic vibe that brings you the most perfect Stevie Nicks like melody in the chorus. “What does it matter if it hurts just a little? Oh, don’t be stupid now, just meet me in the middle,” she begs her ex-lover in the bridge, admitting that just a single glance at him brings her right back.
What sets this album apart from her previous work however is where she leaves us in the end, with closing track “The Beach”. She uses the beach and the water to represent the heartbreak and grief that threatened to overtake her but, in the end, she finally finds her footing on the shore. As the production begins to rise and the drums begin to boom, she realizes that she can find a way out of her suffering.
“When the waves are crashing over, when I fear of letting go, reaching for the surface now I can see the shore. The strangest feeling hits me, that I’ve been here once before,” she leads us to catharsis on the bridge and closes the album out by reminding us that everything will be alright eventually. It’s impossible to not feel this release of anxiety and pain as the production slowly fades out, leaving us to heal in its wake.
The 11-track project is LÉON’s most personal to date, and therefore her most relatable. Every inch of the album is filled with emotion and introspection, gifted to us by an artist with the voice of an angel- perhaps given to the world to make us all feel less alone in our journeys.
Circles is out now on all streaming platforms!