Today’s find comes from the recently released Sooner Or Later by the London R&B singer Leena. “Contour Ink,” despite its lyrics addressing an unnamed other, has an air of solitude surrounding it. This could be due to its minimalist instrumental, which consists of not much more than a no-frills beat and some minor key piano, or maybe the warped vocals that whisper and flutter in the background like jumbled, half-conscious thoughts. Leena’s steely, even-keeled vocal performance recalls some of my favorite songs by SZA and Tinashe, two of the singers who spring to mind as comparisons. The self-harmonized hook immediately became embedded in my brain: “Pour me a glass/Been drinking my soul/The taste is bitter/You’re gone and I’m cold.” The lyrics give the sense of someone burning the midnight oil in some loft somewhere (probably London in this case) while pining for someone else who is absent (super specific, I know). I’m not always a huge fan of the pop/R&B sound, but I really like this song.
Check out more from Leena: https://flowerleena.bandcamp.com/releases