With his uniquely soulful style, Leo Stannard has come a long way since haunting the open mic circuit of Leicester, and his latest single really shows off how much progress he has made along the way. In My Blood is a touching and honest song written about the people who have become essential to Leo, those who have become family despite not being blood-related.
For anyone new to Leo Stannard, he is a 20 year old multi-instrumentalist from Leicester, who is definitely overdue this break. His voice is easily comparable to those of Chris Martin, Tom Odell, and John Newman, but laid over tracks for fans of Bon Iver, Lemaitre and Damien Rice.
Recently he has established a rapidly growing fanbase following collaborations with his Black Butter Label mates Kidnap Kid and Kant on Moments and Close to the Wire. On top of this he has been supporting the likes of Rudimental, Nina Nesbitt and Benjamin Francis Leftwich on various tours.
It is refreshing to hear an upbeat and powerful record solely about friendship and family. In My Blood is a wholesome message coming straight from the heart. The studio release of the single is a departure from its minimalistic origins, but still holds the same message, with the percussion and extra instrumentals managing to not overcrowd, and hold Leo’s vocals as paramount. Whirling backing vocals are joined by some truly head-bopping drums, which make this a complete joy to listen to whilst walking or running, but at the same time it is chilled enough to be appreciated while sat at home.
The acoustic version of In My Blood has a more intimate feel to it, with a lot less polish on Leo’s lightly husky voice. This alternative has more gravitas compared to its studio twin, with every slight imperfection and improvisation making the emotion in the lyrics really resonate. Personally I prefer it, as it shows the true potential that Leo has as an artist; even lacking a band or an instrumental behind him he can still deliver a performance worthy of goosebumps.
The lyrics display serious wisdom beyond Leo’s years; it is touching to see him open himself up like this. With a headline tour starting in October of this year, Leo Stannard is definitely a name to watch out for.
Words by Morton Piercewright