Introduction To

Kess’ Cozy Music Corner #4: LO-FI LE-VI

Struggling to find that new artist to fall in love with? Fear not, our contributor Kess Leung is here with the latest and greatest musical recommendations of each week. In this edition, Kess highlights Dutch Bedroom Pop musician LO-FI LE-VI.

Heavily inspired by acts such as Tyler, the Creator, The Internet, Frank Ocean and Mac Demarco, LO-FI LE-VI has been creating music since his father motivated him to pick up the guitar at a young age.

Without the need of fancy equipment, the artist approaches the composition of his own tracks by creating the instrumental first, tailoring the lyrics and melodies around the base melodies.

LO-FI LE-VI centers his music around the Bedroom Pop style, a sub-genre of pop that gravitates towards self-production at home, rather than at traditional recording studios. Without the need of fancy equipment, the artist approaches the composition of his own tracks by creating the instrumental first, tailoring the lyrics and melodies around the base melodies. He has since released two albums, in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

While the instrumentals for each song can be considered light-hearted, the singer’s vocals are solemn, exuding a subdued sadness.

LO-FI LE-VI initially started putting out music individually, as singles, before compiling them into a collection of 9 tracks on his first EP: SELF-TITLED. In the artist’s own words, the whole album gravitates towards the ‘idea of not being able to have someone’. Throughout my first listen of the album, I was entranced by its subtle loneliness. While the instrumentals for each song can be considered light-hearted, the singer’s vocals are solemn, exuding a subdued sadness.

The song starts off with acoustic guitar chords and a light drumbeat, followed by the singer’s drowsy and laidback vocals, giving off an extremely fuzzy vibe akin to the feeling you might feel under a quiet night sky.

The nature of the tracks is very simple. In fact, the track ‘You’ only consists of two different verses. ‘You look like a flower in full bloom. Every time I talk to you, I really don’t know what to do. Baby you you’re stuck inside my head at night, when I’m in bed I think of what I could’ve said’. The song starts off with acoustic guitar chords and a light drumbeat, followed by the singer’s drowsy and laidback vocals, giving off an extremely fuzzy vibe akin to the feeling you might feel under a quiet night sky.

My personal favourite on the album would have to be track 8, ‘I miss you…’, a song with a heavier beat than the rest of the album. ‘I miss you’, just like ‘You’, is extremely simple. This time consisting of just one verse, sung repeatedly throughout the song. Though the vocals are drowned out and the lyrics indistinct, the song is still able to suck you in with its addictive beat and strumming. Every time I listen to it, it feels as if my stress evaporates, relaxing my body, mind and soul, while still maintaining my energy.

Staying true to his minimalist tendencies, the lilting track follows a similar route in terms of its lyrics but features intricate instrumentals, forming a pleasant rising and falling effect in the melody.

Following the release of his debut EP in 2018, LE-VI proceeded to put out a second album, DOKA, in 2019. Compared to the previous album, this EP is much heavier in the quality of sound. The instrumentals are much richer, with each track seemingly resonating around you. Track 3, ‘Staring’, is a must-listen from the compilation. Staying true to his minimalist tendencies, the lilting track follows a similar route in terms of its lyrics but features intricate instrumentals, forming a pleasant rising and falling effect in the melody. ‘I really don’t know what to do to clear my mind from you. Cause when I think of your perfume, I still smell it.’ The lyrics, while simple, when accompanied the singer’s pained vocals, convey a sense of genuine longing that many will be able to relate to. Especially in this project, the similarities between LO-FI LE-VI and artists such as Joji and Clairo are quite notable.

The lyrics, again, are extremely simple, a repeated occurrence in LO-FI LE-VI’s work. Yet, you don’t get sick by this repetitiveness, and each song is equally as good as the previous one, if not better.

His most recent single, ‘Dive In’, follows a similar route as his previous releases. However, it also seems to have a distinct difference in its overall mood to his earlier work, seemingly happier. The instrumentals have a more uplifting melody to them and the addictive beat is brighter and more layered. The lyrics, again, are extremely simple, a repeated occurrence in LO-FI LE-VI’s work. Yet, you don’t get sick by this repetitiveness, and each song is equally as good as the previous one, if not better.

While LO-FI LE-VI has not been in the music scene for long, I am excited to see what other projects he will put out in the coming future. He has managed to gain a small but steady group of fans that grow alongside his music every day. Hopefully he will put out more music in the coming months, but as always, quality cannot be rushed and I will eagerly await his next release.

Kess Leung

Featured image courtesy of Paul Hudson via Flickr.

Article image courtesy of @lofilevi via Instagram. Image use licence here. 

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