Listening to Sing Leaf evokes a lot of the same feelings as lying in the bottom of a pool, watching the light bend and quiver as a cool summer breeze moves through the water. The melodies flow and the instrumentals are calm, especially in a mid-album pair of instrumental songs, making this the perfect nature-infused album to look forward to summer days with.
Many of the songs start softly with a distinctive texture around sparse drum pounds: for instance a sound like insects flickering their wings at the top of “Blasted”, or some pop-onomatopoeia kicking off “Staying Alive”. Layers of subtle keys, warm guitar, or heartbeat-like electronics join, building up chord-based structures to support the most distinctive part of the recording, David Como’s voice. Como sings with a high degree of earnestness and emotion, describing narratives ranging from finding comfort in the familiar to fear of the unknown.
The most interesting song is the sonically unsettling “I Got Your Number.” Despite the relatable yearning, early-romance subject matter, the song starts with a chorus of voices that could be ghosts around a campfire before going into a minor-key guitar line. “I get so lonely I could die,” he sings. “Even the Moon’s cut off by the clouds in the sky.” The song depicts hope that a new relationship will starve off loneliness, and the fear that it won’t, by contrasting the anxious-sounding guitar line with a sweet, mysterious flute solo.
The calmer, happier sounding songs have their magic moments, too, including some harmonized backing vocal echoes on “High John”, some slurred woodwind sounds on “Keep Coming Up”, and the synth lines in “Black Lagoon.” The album blends together flowy and peaceful textures with just enough tension to keep things interesting.
Top Tracks: “I Got Your Number”, “Black Lagoon”, “Staying Alive”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)