30 Sep 2023

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Rachel Leo - Single Review: Conversation

28 Jun 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant

Everything about Rachel Leo's debut single, Conversation, is picture perfect. A collaboration between Leo and some of Kiwi's pop greats, Joseph Corban-Banks, Em Basa and Simon Gooding, Conversation sees the 22-year-old stepping out with an incredibly well-thought-out release, one which will undoubtedly see her bringing audiences to their feet in hundreds of summer festivals to come.

Conversation's clean, enthusiastic production simply cannot be faulted. Each verse positively pulses with excitement. The subtle pop instrumentation and percussion blushes beneath Leo's cool vocals, which teeter  on the edge of giving way to their sultry, soaring power in each groovy disco-inspired chorus - a melodic and tonal choice which embodies the lyrical theme of frustration over unspoken feelings to a tee. Sound effects throughout the track achieve both a level of polish, and the element of surprise. And that incredible bass line in the chorus, reminiscent of chart toppers like Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish, calls you to dance in a way nobody can deny. 

However, with a song this carefully composed, I am left curious about the woman underneath the shine. Indisputably, Conversation showcases a talented performer, with the singing chops and sonic stylings of the ideal new-generation pop star, but I hope Leo's future music will hone in on what makes her unique. From her recent promotional materials, built on an incredibly striking Y2K-esque aesthetic of bold prints, colours and lighting, it's clear that Rachel Leo offers a lot to love.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Rachel Leo

Rachel Leo’s first release Conversation saw her land on the Hot NZ Singles charts, pack out her first show, be featured on TVNZ’s Breakfast, build a fanbase of 17,000 across socials and secure spots on the line-ups of some of the country’s biggest festivals - Soundsplash 2023 and Rhythm & Vines 2021-22 (cancelled due to Covid-19), no easy feat for an independent artist.

A 3-time recipient of NZ On Air funding, she worked with Alex Wildwood (The Veronicas, Broods) under the New Music Development initiative last year and was awarded the New Music Single grant to support the release of her next two singles. After studying a Bachelor of Music and honing her writing style, she has been collaborating with the likes of Drax Project, Chores, Lauren Gin and Lee Mvtthews. Her songs have been placed on playlists including Apple Music’s New Music Daily, YouTube’s Released and Spotify’s New Music Friday.

With Rachel taking inspiration from the likes of Kiana Ledé, Maggie Rogers, Dua Lipa and Yebba, it comes as no surprise that she enjoys writing under all areas of the pop umbrella. An eagerly awaited release, her next single Last Call was written with and produced by NZ pop heavyweights, Drax Project and marks the start of Leo’s next chapter.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Rachel Leo


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