Andy K Leland: the lo-fi introspection of a talented songwriter

It’s the third single from the Happy Daze EP, released for Mattonella Records last year: The Kingdom, a real manifesto for the italian singer-songwriter Andrea Marcellini a.k.a. Andy K Leland, former bassist and principal composer of the Italian-Icelandic alt-rock group My Cruel Goro.

Andy’s musical project, recently migrated to Cabezon Records, finds its roots in a series of assumptions that guarantee a genuineness, an artistic sincerity which is out of the ordinary. It’s the opposite of the common way of making music basing mostly on instruments, techniques, overabundance of sound inputs, abuse of  post-production adjustments, that kind of obsession about sound perfection and accuracy at any cost. Here we move on another direction, a much more intimate area where most of the time a guitar is enough to perfectly portrait an emotion, to spontaneously define the silhouette of a feeling. Andy wants to express himself, with humility. He is not a prevaricator, he’s just an artist who offers what he is: an authentic author. Andy doesn’t give up to narcissism and appearances, he prefers to challenge the game and take you by the hand, accompanying you with “raw delicacy” in his world full of images and visions.

When you first listen to Happy Daze, the first thing that comes to mind is probably “minimalism”, but it’s something that you will later reconsider: his lyrics are dense with meanings and represent his way of “exposing the guts out of himself”, transporting on paper what crosses his soul. Andy doesn’t follow a method, or better, he follows his own approach guided by the absolute freedom of creativity, with lyrics that combine poetic images, visions, memories, defining unique and unrepeatable moods.

The video of The Kingdom, created by the long-time fellow Massimo Skoposki (he also filmed the clip of Mr. Panic) is a small jewel, perfectly in line with his visionary style, melancholic and concrete at the same time. An illuminated window, the lights of blurred cars, wet streetlights, two snails that collect their twigs, the pulsing finger-picking at guitar. A small pink figure, soft and stylized, enters the screen, with the coloured, blurred, saturated city behind his shoulders: it’s an urban context that occupies the background of the scene. Andy sings with his fluted voice and provides the necessary emotional impact.

Well the world has capsized
Turned my guts inside out
Got unplugged but FB
Keeps alive their ID’s
Save the day for sleeping
And the night for choking
In a bed of concrete
Next to walls that haunt me

The language is simple, accessible and aims to the indirect exposure of a precise state of mind. Leland, in fact, through a transparent lexicon, a simple metric and an incredible descriptive ability, manages to describe his agitation in few brushstrokes. The inverted world, the bowels that escape out of his body, the false references of social networks trying to preserve the identity. To sleep in the day and drown in the nights… Everything in Andy K Leland is filtered, masked by images, hermetic enough to give a poetic touch to his verses, to take us to his interiority through a path whose figures are fundamentally visual. Ambient noises, rustling, even his breath accompanies the listener on this initiatory journey.

The lyrics represent what happens in the mind of a man in the phases of waking and sleeping. If the first part, as the author himself says, “directly talks about what happens at night, in waking state, in that dark realm that paralyzes me”, the second part presents “the good part of the kingdom, which comes in the form of a dream. What happens, in fact, is nothing but a dream.”

Got up one day in the kingdom
Surrounded by some strange folks
They held in hand their relics
And really dug my antics
So we danced together
Took some rest however
They were all plugged and wet so
They got electrocuted

Andy-K-Leland-pic

“It’s normal to have a dark soul” – explains the author – “the hard part is to accept it, welcome it, take it by the hand, reassure it and show it that beyond the night there is always a morning, a new sun. Our best qualities are right there, after all those things that scare us.”

Andy K Leland concluded his first tour this year, opening the live performances of artists like Haley Heynderickx (Usa), Egle Sommacal (Italy), Tangerines (UK), Atariame (Russia). The Happy Daze EP starts the career of an artist able to establish a direct contact with the emotions of the listener. Keep an eye on him.

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Press Office: Peyote Press

The Happy Daze EP is on Spotify

Words: Nubius

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