Harrison MacLeod-Bonnar
Harrison MacLeod-Bonnar

Harrison is a freelance arts and music writer based in Scotland. He writes reviews, interviews and features with artists across the UK and beyond.

The Melbourne based artist Leo has released their debut single ‘Doctor’ and has a debut EP in the works

Melbourne-based artist Leo will release their debut single Doctor on January 21st via Grrrl Groannn, soon to be followed by their debut EP.

The track was recorded between lockdowns in 2021 with fellow Naarm artist Connor Black-Harry. As a young artist navigating the restrictions of the last two years, this debut has been a long time coming. 

Doctor’ marks the beginnings of a new creative journey for Leo. Citing the likes of Soccer Mommy and Stella Donnelly as inspirations, their own songwriting offers a blend of sincerity, vulnerability and sharp, almost bruising, guitar playing. 

There’s an honesty that reflects an eerie emotional and spiritual intuition akin to artists like Nick Cave. This is the artist opening themselves up for the listener. Reflecting on the single, Leo finds that Doctor‘ is a metaphor for anxiety and the symptoms associated with the condition. It takes you on a journey that acknowledges the suffering from anxiety and the subsequent process of asking for and receiving help. The song explores anxiety as well as feelings of unworthiness.

Opening with the softly crunching guitar chords underneath wrought lyrical content, there’s an understated but captivating melancholy scene reminiscent of ‘90s cult figures such as Mazzy Star. It feels this is being played to you mere inches away by a close friend, where exploring vulnerability becomes a cathartic experience. 

The wider instrumentation takes ‘Doctor‘ from a singer-songwriter ballad to a hard-hitting, fuller sound. As drums kick in at the second verse, Leo’s ambitions are revealed; having played solo for many years, they are expanding to a full band for live shows in 2022. 

The cover art has its own dark allure – like a Rorschach test it is littered with evocative sepia-coloured shapes and medical tools. There is a judgement-free, openness here also; Leo leaves just enough space for their audience to come inside, make their own interpretations and take whatever strange comforts they can find. 

Listen to ‘Doctor’ here:

Let us know what you think!