Track Review: A Life Abbreviated // Leo Aram-Downs

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London-born and Brighton-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Leo Aram-Downs has been around for a few years at this point. Since graduating from the BRIT School and Goldsmiths he’s been touring, gigging and constantly writing music in all sorts of different styles, influenced by everything from fingerstyle acoustic guitar music to jazz, fusion, metal, and singer-songwriters! In 2019 he completed a project called Year of Everything, where he managed to release an astonishing 54 new songs in the space of a single year. ‘A Life Abbreviated’ is his latest single and it’s taken from his new EP We All Have Our Place, Part 1, the first of a two-part release that was written and conceptualised in 2020 during the height of the pandemic lockdowns.

“It started as an attempt to document feelings of memories that are deeply tied to our sense of place and seeing new sides of the world for the first time,” Aram-Downs explains about the release concept. “As the pandemic developed and got more extreme, the project also became a rumination on what it’s like to be restricted in a way we’d never experienced as a society before.”

‘A Life Abbreviated’ is a melancholic, Ben Howard-esque piece with multiple layers of deftly-picked electric and acoustic guitars as well as subtle percussive and electronic elements. This all intertwines with an emotive and honest vocal that perfectly suits the song. Aram-Downs’ guitar virtuosity is a real standout of the song; whilst he never overplays anything, he puts just enough intricate details into the parts to keep them interesting. Perhaps most impressive out of everything though is that it seems like he managed to write, perform and produce this entire piece himself! If Leo Aram-Downs isn’t on your radar already, he definitely should be as we go further into 2021.

We All Have Our Place, Part 1 will be out later in 2021.

Words by Robert Percy


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