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Review: Awir Leon Releases Soulful, Smooth New Album 'Man Zoo'

If you like James Blake or Mount Kimbie, this album is for you.
Awir Leon

French born and Amsterdam-based singer-songwriter and producer François Przybylski, known professionally as Awir Leon, has released his sophomore album Man Zoo. Leon may not be a known quantity in the music business just yet, but his sound is something that fans of James Blake or Mount Kimbie will be quite familiar with.

Leon creates a lush sonic palette with fluttering piano, percussion over a sturdy bassline and some funky bass. The album starts very soft with a falsetto by Przybylski over a ticking clock and soft piano. Eventually drums come in to accompany his smooth and soulful voice that always feels like it aches for acceptancer.

He switches his vocal performance between songs and throughout them, cooing in hooks with back up vocals helping to create a larger harmony. In the verses, his voice takes charge of the song. On “Choir” he remarks with purpose and passion “you fake until can’t no more” in the second verse as the song builds with oscillating synths to create a frenetic ending.

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There is a strong element of soul and R&B on this record s well. “The Other Way” initially feels like a breezy day out in the country with harp and soft percussion as he waxes poetic about his upbringing. This leads into a section where the drums become bigger and slow snare rolls take over with a soaring hook.

The album eventually builds to a euphoric finale with “A15” and “The Endless,” where he comes to an acceptance of the world around him, with production that soars. On “The Endless” he may be “growing tired of the bullshit,” but the album feels like he has accepted the journey.

Listen to the full album below and get yourself a copy of Man Zoo here. He is a prime candidate to blow if this album gets the push it deserves. 

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