Hailing from the Bay Area, California, Leair is a singer, songwriter, composer and producer who learnt how to play the piano, the guitar, read and write sheet music, and also how to write poetry. His music style is a powerful mixture of R&B, Soul, Acoustic Soul, Neo Soul, and experimental music.
Leair has released a five track Ep entitled “The Musician Next Door”. With a style that sits somewhere between Indie Arie stripped acoustic soul and Anthony Hamilton’s authentic grit, Leair takes the listener through a journey of emotions he has felt at some time as they are so strongly permeated to the listener.
I couldn’t believe how good this EP was. I love Leair whole atmosphere. He is rustic, bluesy, soulful – a story is told, and a memory evoked with each note he sings. The tracks are divided into two distinctive styles – the acoustic guitar driven ones and the piano powered ones.
I personally prefer the naked soul of the acoustic guitar tracks, which have a more raw and gritty feel. Hence my favorites are “Help Music”, “Clarity” and “Earth”. The production is clean and devoid of gimmicks, giving his voice center stage.
On these tracks He totally lives up to what music needs to return to these days – musicianship, diversity and bold internal creativity. Separating himself from the watered down hoopla of just bumping and grinding, and drinking till you throw up, Leair has blessed us with a soulful mix of unconditional love for his craft.
He has the courage to come up with stuff that is so out of the ordinary and so beyond a category that it doesn’t make sense to compare him to anyone else., though you’d daringly love to compare him to Stevie Wonder or John Legend on the handclapping piano-driven rhythm of “I’ve Changed” or the upbeat “Outta My Head”.
Once in a while a recording comes along where not only can you enjoy it from front to back, but in the process, it touches your soul. A body of work so powerful and true to itself that it affects your current perception on what quality music should be and sets a standard for artistry that just cannot be easily duplicated. This collection of songs bends the tradition of soul without breaking it.
So-called R&B or soul singers may have to step up their game significantly after hearing the “The Musician Next Door” EP. Leair has put the challenge out there to the artists who have just gotten gimmicky and contrived to get back to those chords and vibes that once made soul music an adventure to play on the stereo.
I was impressed with this entire project from start to finish, but have a special spot for those acoustic guitar songs. As they were the ones that reached out and took me to Leair’s side of reality. For the soulful and reflective, this Ep will tease and strike a note in you. This will surely please many listeners.