There is so much garbage and prepackaged music and artists these days that almost I quit listening to the radio. The music either all sounds the same, or I find it offensive and tasteless. No real talent. Just artists who have been more or less created by a label. However if you look hard enough, just bubbling under the mainstream radar you will find artists like Joel Leffler. Joel’s sound is deeply entrenched in the mainstream sphere, and there can be no doubt that he’s truly anchored by his new ‘Strip Me Bare’ EP, which bleeds with maturity and extends the Aussie artist as a talented young singer-songwriter who will become exceedingly valuable to this generation of crossover pop.
Joel Leffler is an award winning singer-songwriter, who has captivated audiences since his arrival on the Australian music scene in early 2008. He released his debut EP in 2013, before eventually signing his first publishing contract in August of 2016 with Foghorn Records, though whom he dropped the EP ‘Run With The Wolves’.
Joel’s latest EP ‘Strip Me Bare’ arrives via the same publishing company and was mixed, produced & mastered by Sony Music Australia’s in-house engineer Peter Holz. It also features guest vocalist Melissa-Jane on the track ‘In My Sights’.
Will ‘Strip Me Bare’ produce any hits? It doesn’t seem impossible considering Joel Leffler’s cresting popularity, coupled with the fact that there’s a load of replayability in this collection of six songs. Other than the opening track “Speed f Light”, a full-bodied and genuinely anthemic track, the album plays tight to the chest with its melodies.
Most songs are rhythmically driven, with jangly guitar strums that give way to hooky bass lines, in a kind of funky-pop aesthetic. The style is consistent and threaded throughout the recording. If any track will force you onto the dance floor, it’s the title track “Strip Me Bare”, an addictive beat fueled by a thumping bass-and-drum heartbeat.
“In My Sights” also taps the dance rhythm, and is both melodic and sweet thanks to Joel’s soaring vocals. The synth injected “Fuse”, is a serviceable upbeat jam directed at a young lady who apparently wants to dominate the singer’s resistance.
“April’s Fool” is a melty but insistent mid-tempo groove with oodles of radio potential. Since launching his career, Joel Leffler has set high stakes for himself. “Auburn Hair” is a pivotal determinant of Joel’s ability to successfully transition between radio pop and dance-floor flair.
The range of talent demonstrated within these tracks, draws a picture of an artist ready to stake his claim on the music industry. While there may be standouts like “Strip Me Bare”, “Fuse” or “April’s Fool”, the EP relies on a more collectively consistent sound, which speaks to a serious artist capable of producing more than just a fleeting sensational hit-sounding song.
Joel Leffler masterfully exhibits vulnerability, resolve, and soulfulness on these rhythm-driven and superbly arranged songs, which take us on an adrenaline-filled journey. All in all, Leffler takes another step forward in his artistic maturity.