Published Sep 28, 2020Sing Leaf is the moniker of introspective, innovative Toronto songwriter David Como. His latest release, Not Earth, is a psychedelic folk album that goes beyond the unusual limitations of the genre. It is more like an interstellar vehicle that takes your mind to other worlds, evoking that same sense of wonder that you might feel while looking at the stars at night and wondering what could be beyond them.
The album's opening track, "Easy on You," is true to its name. It features gentle, acoustic guitar playing and equally soothing vocals, establishing a folk palette that is pervasive throughout the record. It is also complemented by choirs, synths and sounds of nature that make you feel like you are walking through an enchanted forest.
The third song of the album, "Honeyeater," marks a point when Como begins to truly experiment with atypical, alien-like noises that let you feel like you are swimming through a lake on Mars. As the tune progresses, a steady drum loop comes in, and so does a sweet melody on the flute, allowing the vibe to become more grounded and accessible.
"Magnetic" and "Eggtooth" maintain a space-y, experimental vibe, while "Forever Green" returns to a forest of folk. "Sunshine" is a highlight of this album, as it combines a moderately fast pace with an optimistic melody to make you feel like you are making a cheery reentry into Earth's atmosphere.
Como's instrumentation masterfully straddles the line between the unconventional and the familiar, while his lyrics engage on an emotional level by speaking about relationships and the most human aspects of being alive. It is not everyday that someone can weave a sonic tapestry that feels so adventurous, soothing and authentic. Kudos to Como. (Tin Angel)