“A real winner, complete with smooth vocals and sticky melodies” PAPER Magazine
“Max Leone is making a case for himself as one of pop’s next young stars” Pigeons & Planes
“The anti-pop prodigy fusing mind-boggling creations with raw emotion” NME
“Max Leone, pop’s newest face, is worthy of your attention” Pilerats
Breakout Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and producer Max Leone today shares his latest single, ‘5’, out now via The Darkroom. Listen HERE.
His fifth single of the year, each of Max Leone’s first four singles have so far occupied a distinct sonic world, a marker of the anti-pop prodigy’s versatility and his capacity to be naturally, seamlessly fluent across multiple styles but also his intent to introduce the full breadth of his artistry on his forthcoming debut EP. And ‘5’ is no exception, immersing itself in lushly produced electronic-leaning psychedelia reminiscent of Tame Impala. Max subsumes his mixture of lo-fi and polished within this previously unexplored sound, allowing luxuriant, swirling synth chord, electronic drums and his lilting vocals to occupy the foreground of ‘5’ while constant musical tinkering and choppy vocal samples linger in the background, as Max proves his malleability and ability to produce sonically and emotionally deeply rewarding music, stretching ‘5’ out to his longest runtime to date.
Of the track, Max shares that: “Recently I’ve been faced with a lot of tough, existential questions regarding how I perceive the world around me and my role in it. In confronting this, I also find myself saying goodbye to certain pieces of a previous self. 5 is about that loss of innocence.”
Trained as a guitar principal at Berklee College of Music before eventually dropping out, the music Leone is now producing represents the marriage of his formal musical background and his affection for contemporary alt-pop and R&B, spending countless after-school hours as a teenager teaching himself production via YouTube and uploading remixes to Soundcloud. Like his previous singles, ‘5’ keeps one foot in both of these worlds while also seeming to exist entirely outside of them, packaging an enviable amount of compositional finesse into a highly consumable bedroom-pop gem, allowing the underlying complexity of his compositions to play in service of the overall vibe.
Off the strength of the smattering of these singles, Max Leone has already emerged as one of 2020’s most promising new artists, amassing over4 million Spotify streams to date. ‘5’ follows the previously released ‘First Grade’, ‘The Beach’, ‘Cautious’, and ‘Malleable’, received full rotation across triple j and won praise from Billboard, NME, Pigeons & Planes, Pilerats, Purple Sneakers, Ones to Watch, Earmilk and more.
Inspired by childhood influences such as Otis Redding and Nina Simone, Max Leone’s music is defined by the combination of soulful, acoustic-led songwriting with the left-of-center production choices of Lorde and fellow Darkroom-signee Billie Eilish, harnessing the DIY, genre-averse pop intelligence of bedroom stars BENEE and Omar Apollo.
‘5‘ by Max Leone is out now via The Darkroom, buy/stream it here.