Leo Harmonay – Lharmonic
LHarmonic, the third studio platter from singer-songwriter Leo Harmonay, is a six song collection that finds Harmonay’s considerable songwriting powers reaching heights that his great previous efforts scarcely touch. Harmonay calls the Hudson Valley area in New York State his home and he’s built quite a regional legend for himself as one of the most talented and diverse songwriters working today. He accomplishes a great deal without ever sounding overwrought and his audible influences never risk imitation despite the fact. The EP includes one bonus cut, a live performance of one of the new studio songs, but it does nothing to mar the completeness and well rounded aspects making the release one of 2018’s best yet. Leo Harmonay has built a loyal following for good reasons and this release poises him to expand it exponentially. Get in on this artist today because he’s far from his peak and only getting better each time out.
Harmonay orchestrates the EP’s moods like a conductor. Opening with “Shine on You” is a good move because it brings as many listeners as possible into his web and has an inviting personality that encourages engaging with the music. Harmonay is more than capable of carrying the EP’s vocal duties alone, but the inclusion of some solid harmony singing helps sweeten the sound of LHarmonic, particularly on the EP’s more “serious” songs. “Deep Ocean Blue” has some nice electric guitar playing with a decidedly liquid, aquatic quality without ever sounding overstated and its integrated seamlessly into the song’s arrangement. “Heart Alone” has a more rustic quality recalling the EP’s first song, sans the twangy electric guitar, and it never tests listener’s patience despite being the longest song on LHarmonic. The EP becomes even more inward looking and poetic with the track “Glorious Decline”, but Harmonay’s talent with words has the same focus on communicating his meaning shared by less elaborate writing earlier on the release. He can’t resist the temptation to upend listener’s expectations with the track “Rainbow Sounds” and the synthesizer sounds present in this song add color without ever becoming too obtrusive.
“Shine On You” ends the EP. It’s a reprise of the album opener rather than a by the number repeat or a wholesale revision and the primary difference comes down to length. The extended running time works well with this song, however, because Harmonay understands just how long it can go and never takes on more than the arrangement merits. The live version of “Deep Ocean Blue” closing LHarmonic is a worthwhile extra for Harmonay’s admirers and shows the songs from this new EP will prove to be every bit as effective onstage, if not moreso, than his earlier recordings. Leo Harmonay’s third studio offering is his best yet, but that doesn’t begin to describe it really. It’s more to the point to say that he’s clearly an artist committed to growing and challenging himself however he can and makes it an enjoyable ride for his listeners.