Leona Naess: An Edgy King

British folk-pop singer Leona Naess’ haunting, yet unforgetable third album.

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On her self-titled third album, this languid British singer spins complex tales of love and lust, wrapping disruptive impulses in creamy melodies. Naess’ warm, slightly husky voice and folk-inflected pop tunes echo icons like Carole King, but with an uneasy edge. Whether sighing “Don’t use my broken heart to pick up other girls” or proclaiming “He is done like a vampire in the sun” to an oddly peppy tempo, Naess seems on the verge of unleashing volcanic emotions. Savvy arrangements, adding a discreet string section to acoustic guitar and piano, enhance the power of the songs. An ethereal approach often spells blandness; here, it’s haunting and unforgettable.

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