BMA single review by Vince Leigh
The debut single for Canberra’s Leila is a self-assured intro to an emerging music artist’s style, skillset, and approach.
A controlled yet evocative vocal performance reveals Leila’s soulful and deceptively powerful folk-pop sensibilities underscored by an accessible song that effortlessly glides from intimate to direct, creating a universally appealing, laidback, celebratory song.
Opening with an unsuspecting quarter note piano pulse accompanied by multi-hued textures adopted throughout the production, Missing Piece has an immediacy not solely reliant on Leila’s cadences but also stemming from the melodic choices. Over a four-chord pattern, this verse is cut in two the first half of which utilises these chords as an anchoring point for the notes, the second half maintaining the rhythmic shape. It goes on to settle on a few very sweet spots indeed, allowing the resolve of the verse; a distinctive sense of anticipation and release.
Rather than segue straight into the chorus, there’s a deliberate attempt to create a space for surprise and, of course, tender drama. A stream of vocal flourishes once again emphases the warm glow of the chord progression.
And it pays off, with the primary chorus line fulfilling our expectations and imploring us to keep listening. The repetition of the melodic hook works, leading us to an intensification of proceedings, from added background vocal swells to an acoustic guitar push that eventually leads back to the chorus.
Sprinkling this second cycle with various changes, such as a revitalising set of accents and an overall urgency scale-up, helps strengthen the focus of the track, with Leila’s vocal the most vehement aspect of them all. This demonstrates, without any doubt, that Leila has a finely-honed and seemingly natural ability to connect the emotional to the tangible; a trait that will undoubtedly resonate with many.
Missing Piece is an impressive and accomplished feat that will undoubtedly kickstart Leila’s artistic future.
Out September 1st! Head to https://gyro.to/MissingPiece to pre save on your favourite streaming platforms.