Track Review: Alison Levi- Boy You Better Run (live).


Alison Levi

Boy You Better Run (live)


Boy You Better Run (live) is available from:


She has the heart-aching beauty to distract the soul; the powerful and seductive voice to lodge inside your brain- and a talent that will reap dividends throughout 2014.  Sit back and buckle yourself: a huge future star is in our midst.


TODAY I am- for the second week running- focusing on a solo female talent.

Although, unlike Australian Grunge/Surf artist Laura Wilde, today’s subject is worlds apart.  Wilde was born in Melbourne, before emigrating to the shores of California.  Her music is built around attitude-infused anthems to dislocated love and rebellion; her voice and personality have the hallmarks and D.N.A. of a U.S. teen idol, yet her appeal and sound is a lot more worthy and memorable.  I was impressed by the guitar-playing skills of Wilde and her ability (throughout her L.P.) to switch genres and subjects seamlessly- whilst retaining her identity and remaining focused.  It seems that a lot of young artists are fleeing to Los Angeles and California; it seems that the air and atmosphere is much more akin and conducive to a creative day-to-day.  Away from the wet and wind of the U.K., it is clear that the sun-drenched state provided a decadent haven for busy and ambitious talent.  I think that Wilde will be a success in years to come, but may take a while for her charms to bed in.  She pervades and unleashes harder sounds, yet their epicentre and embryonic lustre are rooted in the ’70s and ’80s.  It is a retro sound that is mixed with modern-day smash-and-grab sexiness, that when combined, sounds fresh and vibrant.  Her two-year-old L.P. has gained praise in the U.S.- although not so much in her native Australia- and Britain also has latched onto her potential and talent.  I completed my review by saying that this year will be a big one for the Melbourne wonder; she has a lot of tour dates and demand from various corners of the U.S.  I am always impressed by solo acts whom dare to be different and bold.  In previous posts- several dozen perhaps- I have declared how difficult it is for lone artists to make a name and make their way.  The band market is thriving and evergreen as the overall sounds and sensations seem less anxious.  There are maybe four or five members whom contribute to the creative process.  Each plays their part and the burden and lion share is divided amongst the members.  As a result, the music that is offered seems more organic and relaxed.  It is not always the case that a lack of pressure leads to a greater output of quality- far from it- yet it is still the case that bands have the ear of the critical mind- more so than the solo artist.  I shall go into more depth about this point later, yet my abiding core is that there is room and demand for the solo act.  Scientology misfit, and all-round music genius Beck has a new L.P. out very shortly, and I have been drooling rampantly- anticipating what is to come and how it will hit me.  I have been charting his career since his Odelay days, and have been stunned by the homunculus maverick’s ability to about-face and effortlessly master a multitude of music themes and genres.  Latter albums explored Hispanic seduction, lascivious Blues licks and Siesta-themed mandates to the power of love.  As much as Beck is a chameleon; never stopping or resting in one spot, the biggest applause is reserved to his undiminished quality.  He is going to be leading the charge of a haughty and loyal band of solo artists whom will be showing the bands- and cynics alike- that there is juice and gold to be found within their parables.  If there is some Modern Guilt inherent in the veins of many music lovers, it is perhaps because new acts are not been given the attention they deserve.  The established guard is there for a reason.  They are the parental trailblazers whom have lived the life; seen the sights and have the experience.  I have surveyed many a new act whom I felt was woefully under-appreciated.  It seems that they had been passed over and negated completely- for no logical reason at all.  This year will be one that is synonymous with new music and fresh sounds.  The originals and masters will be hitting hard, yet I feel there will be a sea change towards the celebration of infant movements.  Wilde was one example to assuage any cynicism many have, and fuel the fire for music’s progeny.  As much as I have been impressed by the male solo examples I have examined, I have been a little troubled.  There seems to be an unquenched tendency for the men to, well… be beautiful for an ephemeral spell.  Their voices (literal) have a range and multifarious stretch; yet the abiding themes and topography seems to be narrow.  Most of the songbooks concern the vicissitudes of love; its heartaches and pratfalls- yet there is little desire to pull away from the realms of romantic non-fiction.  It is important and comforting to witness a love song, yet there have been thousands written.  They are treasured for a reason, yet the lack of energy and spark that the boys have infused into them, makes me a little listless.  The sounds of Nick Drake and Crosby, Stills and Nash were done best by the original artists, and the modern appropriations offered hence seem like the result of supplicant copyists.  There is some originality to be heard, yet the overall impression is one of market sect that is begging for an injection of electricity, punch, difference and brain-melting insight.  I have heard glimmers that suggest the sun may poke from behind the clouds, yet I am readying myself for the realisation: this year will see a lot of male acts determined to be the ‘next Jeff Buckley/insert any number of other names’.  The bygone gods of music should have an effect on the sapling devotees, yet not so much so to the point where their back catalogue is lazily repackaged to fit into a familar-looking template.  The females, however, have a manifest destiny and intuition that puts them ahead of their male colleagues.  Over the course of last year I surveyed some weird, wonderful and spellbinding female talent.  Anna von Hausswolff, with her Swedish beauty, mingles haunting and languorous church organs with Kate Bush-esque vocals.  Her songs would often beginning with two minutes worth of build-up- sonic setting stones that made you shiver before a single note was sung.  Perhaps her vocal style holds too closely to Bush’s coattails, yet one cannot argue with the innovation and bravery on show: the wanderlust and ingenuity took pleasure in taking your breath away.  This year I have surveyed Maltese Siren, Chess.  Her bold themes of desire, ersatz frustration tales and redemptive codas made me think that in her, we have one of the brightest talents on offer.  Her voice and style is influenced by the U.S. stars such as Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys, yet she has an affection for Blues, R ‘n’ B, as well as soulful manoeuvres- the resultant witches brew is heady, intoxicating and endorphin-releasing.  There is multitudinous directionality amongst the female core, and a vast ambition that is impressive indeed.  My featured artist has more-than-enough alchemy in her chest to suggest that she will be amongst the names to watch in 2014.

I came across Alison Levi about a week ago, in somewhat surreptitious circumstances.  Her majesty was brought to her attention by a Twitter ‘follower’ of mine; and I am fortunate to have happened upon her.  I have long-bellied the difficulty one faces when uncovering the best and brightest music talent.  Too many of my review subjects have arrived at my door, due to the fact that I happened to be ‘in the right place at the right time’.  I understand that due to a burgeoning and unregulated scene, combined with a tranquil and audacious attitude to quality control, that is nigh-on impossible to separate wheat from chaff.  Twitter and Facebook exist in a self-serving state; where epistemic ambivalence and money-making desires overrule pure motive.  I have not seen a site dedicated solely to connecting new music to the hungry public.  There are sites which offer new music and a lot of tinsel, yet how many offer this: a portal whereby any music lover (anywhere in the world) can, by the press of a button uncover new music that is particular to them- as well as some that will curry favour and unearth a hidden passion.  I am perhaps representing the sceptical voice of the minority, yet it seems that there should be something in the superhighway that fulfils this need.  If there is, I would love to hear of it, but it seems to me that hollow and needless self-promotion is a monarchy which will not be overthrown any time soon.  My point is- amongst the twirling and crepuscular rant- that I am chancing upon artists whom I feel should be in my consciousness many months previous.  One does not take chances when it comes to love or career.  When you look for a new love, a new job or another home there is a lot of planning and experimentation involved.  There is never a point where you feel you have fallen in love with the right person by mere circumstance or happenstance.  Always there is a degree and semblance of logic and hard work.  I feel that music is equally important, yet I am falling in love with musicians because of luck and false providence- as opposed to science and logic.  I shall- you’ll be thrilled to hear- continue this theme later, yet I want to talk about Alison.  One of the things that struck my initially about Levi was her sheer beauty.  She has a mesmeric and jaw-dropping beauty that can buckle knees.  I was not shocked to learn that she models, yet she has the looks and grace that I have noticed amongst one of my music icons: Eva Cassidy.  Perhaps it is because Valentines Day has just passed, but I find myself in romantic mood.  Levi is perhaps one of the most stunning and beautiful humans I have seen, yet her personality and music are perhaps even more outstanding.  I mentioned Eva Cassidy, and this is a name I will be infusing in various paragraphs throughout the review.  Like Cassidy, Levi has a comparable look.  There is a sense of shyness perhaps at the core as well as a lust for life.  A comparable smile and look in Levi’s eyes reminds me of the departed music goddess, and I am cannot shake the sense that there is a reincarnated spirit within Levi (not literally as that would be beyond stupid).  Cassidy remains one of my all-time favourite artists as she was such a short-lived light.  Having been cruelly taken from her due to cancer, in the brief time she was with us, she produced some spectacular music.  There are some strong women and forceful voices in music today.  The likes of Hannah Reid (of London Grammar) and Adele have the pipes and vocal chords to break granite and seduce hearts, yet I feel that their appeal is perhaps one-dimensional.  Past artists such as Cassidy won you over not just because of their voices, but because they had a personality and core that was not insular or fame-seeking: it was loveable and relatable.  Modern idols will win their places in history by not only ensuring their music stands the test of time, but because their inner-self spoke to people: appealed to, and was familiar with those both bold and introverted.  As a songwriter and aspiring artist I look around for influence and inspiration.  Some bands and solo artist win my over with their music and nothing else; Levi has a hell of a lot more on offer.  I will get more into her trajectory and current movements, but I will finish up on my Cassidy thesis.  It was not just the softness and tenderness of Cassidy’s voice that was so mesmeric.  Here was an artists whom sang mostly cover versions, yet she could strip a song to its core; transform it and leave you speechless.  If you listen to tracks like Autumn Leaves, Over The Rainbow and Fields of Gold; there is no doubt that few other singers could achieve such beauty and wonder.  Cassidy has one of the most stunning and mesmeric voices there’s ever been, yet one that contained power and huge force.  If you hear tracks such as Wayfaring Stranger, Wade In The Water and People Get Ready (from Songbird) there is he evidence right there.  Cassidy was capable of going from a delicate and hushed whisper to an ecstatic and overwhelmed belt within mere seconds- which she did so effortlessly.  Some modern-day singers have an essence of her talent, yet none seem to encapsulate the whole.  I have seen enough in Levi to think that she is worth paying close attention to.  I will explain her music shortly, yet it is her online portfolio and interactions that have struck me as well.  In her Twitter page, Levi comes across as a good-humoured and entertaining figure.  Her posts are often witty and amusing, and it seems that as well as music, humour and bonhomie are crucial ingredients.  Levi is a genuine article and a bona-fide talent whom has the personable appeal to win over undecided voters and fanatics alike; as well as galvanise the fence-sitters.  The abiding impression is one of an ambitious and determined young woman, whom knows what she wants.  Her career is in its infancy, yet Levi has set many tongues a-wagging.  Just two days ago she performed at The Troubadour.  Online ratings and feedback suggest that the gig was a triumph- a perfect musical storm away from a meteorological one.  The next month sees our heroine embark on some illustrious dates.  Kensington Roof Gardens and York and Albany are the first two of several London appearances.  These character-filled and sumptuous venues will see Levi introduce her gorgeous and hypnotic tones to a new audience, as well as get her name disseminated about town.  On March 18, Levi plays Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club– one of the finest venues in the country- and will lead Londoners into a prosperous spring to be excited about.  It is a gig I hope to attend, and my first chance to witness Levi first-hand.  In the long-term I am unsure as to the blonde starlet’s plans, but I am confident that her forthcoming E.P.will be most pressing.  Her original material suggests a talent with a keen ear for a memorable lyrics, and the ability to melt sparse and effective melodies with a striking vocal performance.  Any potential record that Levi has in mind will be met with anticipation and curiosity.  At the moment, Levi is recording and showcasing live tracks- allowing listeners to see her in the studio and on stage- thus unveiling her voice in its purest form.  Levi has recently been scoring and contributing to the soundtrack to a U.S. horror film; revelling at the opportunity to contribute to something atmospheric, haunting and compelling.  For now, the young star is readying the world, and providing tantalising snippets of what is to come.  On the evidence of Boy You Better Run, the future is going to be very bright indeed.

The track was filmed in Sensible Studios, and sees Levi decked in shorts and shirts- a summertime embodiment- guitar in hand, sat a-perch a stool.  It is a casual yet striking look that perfectly mirror’s the intro. to Boy You Better Run.  The keyboard introduction is a rolling and streaming arpeggio that puts me in mind of The Cinematic Orchestra’s Arrival of the Birds, as well as Arabesque by Debussy.  It is a romantic and portentous opening which builds the intrigue-o-meter all the way to 11.  It creates its own movement and energy; it is part summertime sunrise-cum springtime sunset, as well as having a mobile energy that puts me in mind of some of the classic greats.  Before a note has emanated from Levi, your mind and body is relaxed as well as intrigued- you wonder what the vocal openings will sound like.  Before that approaches, Levi introduces a strumming acoustic line, which cojoin and blends beautifully with keyboard.  For 34-or-so seconds, such a mood of delight and seduction has been levied, which is a rarity in the modern market.  A lot of artists subjugate the necessity of a compelling opening salvo, yet Levi has her name in her genes and the genes in her name; an inherent knowledge and knack of being able to augment emotion and fascination, right from the get-go.  The first sung notes offer some alcoholic and curious recollections, our heroine recounts: “Drunk on lilac wine/Lost in my gaze/No feel for time/False sense of delight“.  The words recall hazy memories and love-gone-wrong-milieu.  Levi’s lyrics mix baroque and oblique, with direct and impassioned.  I loved the mention of lilac wine, and my mind was drawn to the shores of James Shelton and Nina Simone.  It is a delicate little touch that appeals to music diehards and poetic minds, as well as parabond-ing glorious songs of old, as well as modern-day tableaux.  Whether the story is based in reality and is a painful past memory for our heroine, I am unsure, the conviction which she delivers the lines if flawless.  Her phrasing is effective and striking; ensuring that each word and line is enunciation to maximum effect: an acuity few posses.  Levi’s voice is soulful and full-bodied, yet sweet with a soprano edge.  The song’s initial moments lay in the mood and ease the listener in.  When matters progress to the second verse, Levi continues her vocal pitch; keeps the mood even and restrained, whilst tempting and intriguing.  Offering seduction, chess metaphor and a wicked game (I move in closer/I take the night/Taste me on your lips“) our heroine builds a mood indigo.  One pictures images of Levi- swathed in a tight-fitting yet elegant red dress- in the twilight and eventide.  A glass of wine in hand, our Siren lures her sweetheart in; whispering promises and tempting him in.  The story goes on: “Darker than shadows on the eclipse/Feel me on your skin/Closer to god than you’ve ever been“.  As the lines are delivered- intentionally or not- there is an air of the spirit of Cassidy in the delivery; a smidge of modern-day U.S. pop idols in the sound, but above all, Levi’s unique tones and flavour.  Whilst listening to the song, your mind wonders.  Beyond the evocative sense of imagery portrayed, you also wonder what it will sound like when given a studio makeover.  I wonder whether horns or strings will be included.  As the song progresses and the intensity and mood shifts, it will be fascinating to see if Levi will include any sonic shifts or instrumental layers.  One’s mind also shifts back into the story; the movie- the soundtrack to the song.  It is clear that things are hotting-up.  The red dress may be getting dangerously close to the floor; the scarlet lipstick considerably faded by now and our ill-fated hero thinking his luck is in.  Levi’s voice intones her words succinctly, and with just a paucity of breath and projection, she manages to summon up a firestorm of vehemence and sexiness.  As we head into the chorus, Levi changes pace, slightly.  As she delivers an ice-cold mandate (“Poison ivy, kiss so deadly“); the words are almost see-sawed; elongated in order to drip feed the message- ensuring her beau understands every word.  Her man soon becomes Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill Jr. as the reigns down:Boy you better run oh boy you better/Boy you better run oh boy you better/Boy you better run oh boy you better, boy you better run oh boy you better“.  My twin minds both imagine and speculate.  Visually- in the video- our heroine strums intently; looking relaxed yet focused.  Her eyes rarely look up, engrossed as she is within the song.  If a video is ever to be made, I would imagine by the 1:20 mark, the plot is taking another twist.  Having felt and ‘tasted’ our heroine on his lips, and her midnight spell has been cast.  I envisage the protagonist embroiled in a brief row, by which point the hound-dog paramour is headed for the door; shirt in hand, perhaps unable to extricate himself from his lover’s seduce.  The sonic and musical side of me wonders what we may hear.  In the (live) video) it is acoustic guitar and keyboard, switching between elliptical grace and rampant passion; a constant and pugnacious guitar strum put an audible blood rush into proceedings.  Maybe swooning strings (hear The Cinematic Orchestra’s Arrival of the Birds (1:21-1:31): (Open in a new tab:; perhaps some Blues-infused work on a Gretsch Black Mamba 6120 commingling with snare drum- who knows; such is the potency and evocative nature of the song, you cannot help but wonder.  The first rendition of the chorus is the first emotional bookmark: the end of act one, as it were.  The way Levi delivers the lines is almost matra-like: our heroine sings her lines like a waltz, albeit one between two lovers with different moves and different ideas of coordination.  With barely a breath, and keen to keep the mood electric and unabated, Levi segways into the next verse.  Its initial thoughts promise no sense of relief or light for our anti-hero: “My love a work of art/Blood don’t run redder/I leave with your heart/Yeah, I take it apart“.  The pace and mood at the point is in second-gear: Levi takes things down a semitone in order to let the words sink in.  Our heroine’s talent for words is evidenced once more, and the way she builds images and brushstrokes- both striking and Byzantine- is brilliant.  Within the quartet of lines, one pictures a heart being torn from chest, and although the lines may be meant metaphorically, you get the sense that the late-night film noir has taken another logical progression.  Our heroine has her dress re-clasped and strapped and takes another lilac sip of wine.  Her man has been eviscerated and put to rights, and reduced to an un-evolved mess.  When Levi proclaims: “Sell it for cheddar/Then buy your scars/Your cries won’t leave the room/Empty words I now consume“, her voice remains impassioned and sturdy, allowing an elliptical sonic flourish between lines.  There is a sense of retribution, justice as well as recriminations: “Half a man you’ll be/Better alone than drifting with me“.  The chorus homes once more into view, and the song nears its conclusion.  In terms of our mini-movie, our anti-hero has run into the night’s rain; regret and fear in his eyes as he runs into the shadows.  Our heroine looks out of the window, drains the glass of wine, before teasing a crooked smile.  Whether a studio version of the song would contain a pace shift or change of instrumentation is unsure, yet again one’s mind is filled with possibilities and ideas.  Orchestration, however minimalist would elevate Levi’s striking words; the gorgeous and potent keyboard and guitar work in the live video would act as a perfect paramour; perhaps a heavy or rolling drumbeat, sparring with horns and…well you get the idea, right?  It down to the individual listener’s mind, yet when Levi’s voice heightens and intensifies in the final seconds, you sense a palpable crescendo and explosive conclusion.  You are left with lasting impression and indelible images, as the song is brought to rest.  I hope that the track does make it into the studio- it may have already made it there- and that Levi considers it as a lead-off single, as it is a tremendous song.  Just hearing it in a live enviroment suggests of what could become.  Levi’s delivery and performance is stunning; her guitar-playing is consistently compelling, whilst Chris Stones keyboard skills add weight and majesty to the song.  Boy You Better Run has compelled me, to once again, set pen to paper, and  scribble notes and lyrics to incomplete songs.  Having compiled and structured an E.P.’s worth of music (sans band and finance no less), I have been rewriting lesser words; reworking brittle melodies and weaker compositions, upon the initial listen of Levi’s opus.  It is not just the lyrics that influenced me; yet they are a huge standout.  The chorus employs repetition to great effect; employing a gravity and momentum that few contemporaries achieve.  In the verses, the words summon up all kinds of spectral and colourful scenes and images, and there is a tangible sense of story and reality.  Whether the lyrics are influences by a past romance or rooted in fiction I am unsure, but it is clear that something has affected our heroine.  Levi marries direct proclamation with poetic and oblique couplets; when combined create a heady and solid song.  The composition is gorgeous and impressive, too.  The introduction has genuine classic overtones; not just pretension, and reminds me of some lilting and romantic songs (a couple of which I have mentioned).  It is perhaps Levi’s voice that does the loudest talking.  It is no hyperbole to compare her with Cassidy.  I have been listening to videos of Cassidy performing at Blues Alley.  There, the legend made songs such as Cheek to Cheek, Blue Skies and Stormy Monday her own- the guitar and piano/keyboard style and sound is comparable too.  I mentioned that Levi has an air of Cassidy in her beauty, and it is a genuine observation rather than an attempt of flattery.  I am unsure whether Cassidy is a name on Levi’s radar, yet she should be proud.  There is plenty of present-day tones within Levi’s voice; the likes of Dangerously In Love-era Beyonce are detectable, as well as Laura Marling and jazz and soul greats.  Our jaw-dropping chanteuse plays Ronnie Scott’s soon, and it seems axiomatic that the two will finally meet, as Levi seamlessly appropriates and embodies the sound and quality of some of the best acts who would have played that stage.  In an era and scene where nubile and eager talent often have to swim the tide from day one, it is unsurprising that few flourish.  It is not merely enough to show up- with a vague idea of what you want to say- play your songs and expect a long-term turnover.  Levi will be in the public consciousness for years to come because of everything I have mentioned; because she has a solid set of songs already evident, and is getting herself heard and known.  The litmus test will come when her E.P. is released, but the London-based musician will gather a whole host of new fans, as well as public demand.

Stagedoor F.M. has hailed Levi as one of the key talents to watch in 2014, explaining: “Newcomer Alison Levi has featured multiple times over here at Stagedoor FM. The London-based singer/songwriter has impressed us with her strong vocal range shown in her multiple acoustic videos, and we’re intrigued to hear what’s to come over the next 12 months”.  The next 12 months will see transition and forward steps.  The website Musicborn sums up Levi’s forthcoming E.P., thus: “‘Pale to Grey’ is a collection of songs mixing pop and rock with powerful vocals, creating a haunting and captivating EP that naturally fuses genres to make a sound that is hers and hers alone”.  The track Pale to Grey is a delicate and flowing number, with parts Laura Marling and that distinctive acoustic sound.  Tracks such as By Your Side and Holding On showcase Levi’s songwriting talent, as well as emphasise the tremendous voice that she possesses.  I am unsure as to the track listing, and what songs will appear on the E.P., but is it going to be a record that demonstratively proves what an asset Levi is to the music world.  There are no histrionics; bold and false claims or needless filler material: it will be concise, delineated and stunning.  I have mentioned the live dates that are upcoming, and I know from Twitter and Facebook that Levi is excited about the future, appreciative of the love from her fans; as well as excited about the here-and-now. Even though there are tracks afoot that could well form the basis of Pale to Grey, I suspect that there are even more songs in Levi’s mind: those that could be the synopsis for an extremely exciting future.  Levi is a solo star, yet one whom has the musical, lyrical and vocal talent to pioneer in several directions.  There is the vocal belt and power to suggest a natural Blues or Rock talent.  We could witness a smoky and bolstering Blues anthem, or a punchy and riff-heavy Rock jam.  The seductive coo of her softer edge hints as the possibility of Cassidy-esque renditions as well as romantic and heartfelt paens.  That is the mark of a great talent: someone who captures you in the moment, yet invigorates and primes your brain for what is to come.  As a songwriter and itinerant music listener, I am fascinated by what is out there, and any possible influences for me.  Levi’s biography and stock is the answer to the frustrated desires of the modern market.  There is too much disposable talent and short-lived fever dream music.  Too few elicit desires for long-term residency within music- or that appears to be the trend.  Bands and acts often arrive in a maelstrom hailstorm of publicity and pomp and circumstance; are labelled and heralded as the saviours of music- only to dissipate after a couple of albums.  Levi may be finding her feet and feeling her way into the arena of new music, yet she should have no fear: this year will be a busy and memorable one fvor the young talent.  Amongst the 2,000+ Twitter followers she has- as well as Facebook fans- the heralded belief is that things will go from strength to strength.  I will do all I can to spread the good word.  I hope, too, that the social media links, with its weak tensile strength and bloated digestive system, gets its act together.  Too many plastic and generic acts are given too much attention, whilst the genuine articles are often postulated and spoken of in word-of-mouth proportions.  “Oh, it’s so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl“- it has been a bit of good luck that has introduced me to Levi, yet I am glad that I have heard her music.  She is certainly near the top of my list for future collaboration (to be in the same studio as her…), and someone I will be watching with huge interest.  After a night that has introduced wind-strewn chaos: power failure and depleted garden accoutrement, I have started this weekend addled and rattled.  The stress and predictable unpredictability of this winter has turned an upside-down frown all the way down.  Music and its lustre and comfort is as in-demand now as any time, and Levi is a refreshing antidote to current malaise.  If you are a music-lover whom has narrow confines or prefers a certain genre of music, I would advise some reappraisal and leaps of faith.  Many solo acts cause a shudder, as they can be little more than an acoustic guitar, bland voice and unfocused and cliché lyric; yet there are plenty whom demand closer attention and scrutiny.  Levi is tender of age, yet has an incredible maturity and intelligence when it comes to lyrics.  Her songs are compelling and filled with nuance, and her coordinated ambitions suggest a gilded and rewardingly-long career.  Do not let her hypnotic beauty and seductive smile lead you astray: the voice is- in my mind- the pinnacle of her talent.  At once soft and cooing; the next powerful and planet-straddling.  It has already garnered a great deal of praise and comparison, yet Levi is as unique a voice as I have heard for a long time.  Once the E.P. is released and public perception has been tabulated, there will be many options open to Levi.  I am confident that her range and talent is as bespoke for the audiences of the U.S. as it is for Europe and Australia.  She has a voice and artistry that is a hugely transferable and valuable commodity, and there will be a lot of international demand forthcoming.  For now, I am sure Levi is focusing on the next few weeks, which will see some memorable gigs as well as a wave of new fans flocking to see her play.  This year will be one offering plenty of room for new talent, and rich reward up for grabs.  Many will climb and pervade, yet few will achieve longevity.  Levi is an artist whom has the ammunition, intention and ability to win ears years from now; so it is worth getting in on the ground floor, as this is for sure:

ONCE heard; her memorable songs will be very hard to shake (or forget).


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