LA synthpop duo, Leitbur is comprised of producer Jaron Widman and singer-songwriter Samantha Krzyston. Together they create 80’s-inspired dance music that contains influences from a wide gamut, including electronica and glitchy post-punk. The opening track, “Strange In LA” is irresistibly catchy with a funky synth line that anchors it throughout, and a dance-y electronic drum track that sinks into the listener’s skin,where it remains the entire way through. Widman and Krystons’ vocals float over top, coyly playing against one another with nods to The Human League (my favorite new wave band by the way guys, and one of the reasons why I was so drawn to Leitbur). Title track, “The Moment That I Knew You” is by and far the standout on this album, and showcases a quieter, more musically subtle side to the duo with a stripped down synth melody and airy electro beat. Widman’s vocals are the focal point of the song, displaying at once strength and whimsey in terms of his range. Sweet, simple and romantic, it will without a doubt be occupying real estate on many of my summer playlists to come. “Heartsink” takes us deeper into the band’s psyche with an ominous bass line and Kryston’s vocals pleading “you can’t just walk away”, as part of the opening verse. The chorus, however, is what makes this such a great track, with a slight shift in cadence and heavier focus on the beat that packs a totally unexpected punch, inspiring the listener to brood and dance at the same time. Though “Fairbanks” – the other quieter track on the album – relies a little too heavily on the sentimental end of the 80’s electropop spectrum with the addition of an introspective keys line that distracts from stronger aspects of the composition, “The Long AM” more than redeems this and is pretty much a perfect way to wrap up the album. This band’s strong suit is clearly their ability to balance each other’s vocals against one another without removing emphasis from the synth (THE key element within their genre), and this trapeze act is encapsulated flawlessly within this track. It’s the perfect sendoff to a strong sophomore album.
Keep an eye out for tour dates from the duo in the coming year, and in the meantime listen to our exclusive stream of The Moment That I Knew You below. The album will be officially released on 4/21/2015.