Kayla Sandiford

An American in London. Loosely termed journalist. When I’m not attending gigs or writing about sounds that I love, you can find me making art and fawning over nature.

Label: Evil Tree #3

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Based in London, Leo Walrus has been busily stirring up anticipation for his first record. In addition to releasing four singles over the past year, he has established city roots with several live performances at different venues including The Troubadour and The Lexington.

With self-described pop sensibilities and melodies derived from the 60s, Walrus aims to create a world that is simultaneously hopeful, bittersweet, and shrouded in an air of mystery. Across eleven tracks that convey a sense of familiarity and sentimental depth, ‘I May Need Some Silence’ warmly welcomes listeners to share in Walrus’ honest, reflective experience. 

The album opens hazily with ‘The Smoke’, a mesmerising fusion of smooth bass lines, velvety guitar tones and subtle percussive fills. Walrus’ vocals enter like honey straight from the jar, intertwining with the improvisational flow of jazzlike instrumentation. 

Following track ‘Scrambled’ steps away from the smoky atmosphere into a balmy glade illustrated by breezy acoustic strumming and a tranquil vocal presence. Walrus’ sun-drenched serenade is wistful and carefully contemplative, as though he is piecing together a memory. 

‘Can You Swim’ floats in with a dreamy soundscape defined by feather-light keys, anchoring bass, and the later appearance of hushed saxophone melodies. It is played as a question that never truly reaches a definitive answer, but there is comfort in the unknown.

‘Move Me’ ventures into new territory with its sinuous Latin jazz-inspired grooves, through which Walrus asks with a fragile sensuality “Won’t you move me? Won’t you please just fill my space?”

Feelings of yearning and uncertainty are ubiquitous throughout the record, pushing to amalgamate with Walrus’ hopeful disposition. ‘All I’ve Ever Known’ embodies the wide-eyed duality of cynicism and anticipation that comes with pondering the future, but Walrus treads this line carefully.

Digressing from the warm timbres of preceding tracks ‘So Easy’ and ‘Angel Angel’, ‘Notice The Cold’ follows like a brisk lullaby that gradually envelopes the listener into a sonic landscape that is captivatingly melancholic.

Walrus is distant, evoking the feeling that he is speaking through a phone line that is bound to disconnect. As the ephemeral keyboard melody tires out, Walrus’ voice is isolated, wavering when delivers his parting message: “It’s only love who I’d ever lie to.”

‘Who’s Been Well’ takes on a homely nostalgia to search out a missing piece, but Walrus appears to find some solace in recognising that he is wholeheartedly himself. Final track ‘Willsong’ is a gentle, misty close to the album. With muted hues and melodies that cascade like raindrops, listeners glide through Walrus’ delicate incantations as he casts his final musing.

‘I May Need Some Silence’ regards various influences but stays loyal to itself as an evocative and inventive debut. Each track possesses a thoughtful story of its own while maintaining the ability to exist cohesively as part of a broader narrative of Walrus’ personal odyssey. The album serves as a promising indication of what lies ahead for the emerging artist, foretelling endless possibilities of what to expect out of his upcoming musical endeavours. 

Listen to ‘I May Need Some Silence’ here:

For fans of: Mild High Club, Jerkcurb, Crumb