“burgeoning pop star” Billboard“a thrilling sign of things to come from this up-and-coming artist” Earmilk
“smooth vocals and sticky melodies” Paper
“gooey and dark but also incredibly catchy” Alt Citizen
Today, rising 20-year-old songwriter-producer Max Leone shares his second single ‘Cautious’ via Darkroom Records. Following on from his debut release, ‘First Grade,’ ‘Cautious’ is the latest track to be lifted from his forthcoming EP which premiered on triple j’s ‘Good Nights with Bridget Hustwaite‘ and Billboard. The track also comes with a video, directed and edited by Clyde Munroe in collaboration with Max Leone. Listen HERE, watch HERE.
Of the track, Max says: “Cautious is about isolating yourself from the world in an attempt to protect yourself from it, but ultimately discovering that the beauty and meaning in life is often derived through its discomfort.”
Picking up the guitar at age 7, Portland-born Leone quickly developed a passion for playing and began experimenting with violin, drums, and piano as well. Countless after school hours spent practicing, composing, playing in jazz bands, learning production via YouTube and pumping out remixes on Soundcloud eventually led Max to attend the prestigious Berklee College Of Music as a guitar principal. After his freshman year, however, Max dropped out to pursue music full time, making the cross-country move to Los Angeles.
Written entirely in the wake of his move, Max’s debut EP tells his story of attempting to navigate a new city alone while chasing a potentially far-fetched dream. Threaded through with all the tenuous emotionality that comes with this kind of upheaval, it explores themes of self-doubt, nostalgia, social media and isolation.
Inspired by childhood influences and all-time greats such as Frank Ocean, Nina Simone, and John Mayer, Leone’s music is defined by the combination of soulful, acoustic-led songwriting with the left-of-center production choices of King Princess and BENEE, as well as the DIY pop intelligence of Omar Apollo and Bakar. Max’s unique blend of songwriting is once again on full display throughout ‘Cautious,’ undercutting his smooth guitar lines with a buzzing synth bassline and choppy vocal samples lingering in the background.
‘Cautious‘ is out now by Darkroom Records, buy/stream it here.