Leila Rhodes, purveyor of six-string fuzz, is back with “Principles,” the first single released from her upcoming album, Attunement.
“Principles” contains all the Leila Rhodes staples: tons of reverb, shaggy blues licks, self-confidently psychonautic lyrical koans , a face-melting meld of psych atmosphere and R&B attitude. To start, a decayed, Tycho-esque synth drifts into frame as if blown there by a gentle breeze, before being joined for a few moments by a blearily intricate bass figure. From there, Rhodes begins her lesson on self-empowerment, exhorting listeners (and maybe herself as well) to create freely and to “speak out for your art’s worth/even if they don’t see it.” Later, addressing those wonderful types that only help others when there’s something to be gained from it, she warns, “They’re not your friend/They’re just your lesson.” The cool swagger of Rhodes’s lyrical shoulder-brushing is balanced by her hazy, echoing production; near the end of the song, a dense forest of vocal overdubs pushes things into spacey, near-Vinyl Williams territory. Overall, “Principles” is another strong, unique offering from Leila Rhodes.