Singer/songwriter leo. returns with pretend, his second track of the year. Building on his signature sound, he starts the track with just vocals and ukulele, employing a jolly strumming pattern to contrast the melancholic lyricism – itself concealed within his pretty vocal style. As the track builds, we get an elegant piano part, floating strings and gorgeous choir-like vocal harmonies. The drums are gentle, but add a little momentum to the track, dropping out of some moments to accentuate the other elements. The lyrics speak in balance the metaphorical with the direct, making the whole thing emotively irresistible.
The track is accompanied by a music video with stunning visual storytelling that helps fans to gain a better understanding of the music. Once again the video is unmistakably leo., with lots of yellow colours and his impressive ability to grab your attention and pull you in.
On the new release, leo. shares:
“‘pretend’ is about a problematic relationship and its spectacularly messy ending. ‘Staying friends’ after a break-up is never a good idea, especially when you keep on doing stuff friends wouldn’t usually do. I remember writing this song on a coach trip during a very uncertain time in my life. I wrote it to try and make sense of my feelings, and to figure out if I could pretend for just a bit longer that I didn’t have all these problems to fix. (I definitely did)
It sounds really fun and I had a blast nailing down the vibe with Ed Allen, the producer. Even though it’s about relatively heavy things, I also wanted to capture how adventurous and fun it can feel to make bad decisions, even when you know they’re gonna mess you up in the future. I hope people can relate.
This is the second track off my upcoming album “a new one”, which is all about processing trauma and learning how to love again after some harmful experiences. ‘pretend’ represents everything that kick-started the work I had to do to unlearn so many negative things—the album begins with me in a really messy place, and with each song, I put more and more pieces back together.
Since writing ‘pretend’, revisiting it so many times to record it, film the music video, and, now, to release it, has really made me appreciate how much I’ve grown, and how much allowing myself to be vulnerable can really help.”
From both Portugal and the UK, leo. has seen his raw interpretation of life through music see great success on streaming platforms. This has led him to growing a close-knit and understanding community that feels a deep connection with the artist. leo.’s musical journey started with rigorous classical training, before he decided to develop his own style, creating nostalgic, relatable and uplifting music from his bedroom.
In 2019, he released his single despair which shot up to over 30 million streams. leo. Is now taking his sound to stage.. Not only that, but now he prepares for his largest offering to date, announced in the video as the debut album ‘A New One’ set for release September 15th.