Blue-eyed soul has had a lot of ups and downs since the dawn of the millennium, but in the case of David Leask, the acclaimed Canadian singer has never sounded more on-point than he does in his new single and music video, “When You Think No One Loves You.” Structured around a harmony between Leask’s voice and an exquisite piano, “When You Think No One Loves You” is a reflective look for David Leask, who has spent a lot of his life in the recording studio but shows off just how youthful an artist he is in this most recent collection of melodies.
Unlike a lot of the other piano-powered soul songs that I’ve reviewed in 2019, this track isn’t even slightly overproduced. The raw emotionality in Leask’s vocal is left intact, and though there’s a lot of moxie in the melody that the keys produce, it’s never strong enough to steal any of the limelight away from the real draw in “When You Think No One Loves You” – the immaculate crooning. Everything is organized well and meticulously arranged as to keep us spellbound from the moment the song starts to the second that it disappears into the darkness from which it first arose.
One element that might be somewhat bothersome to more mainstream listeners is the lack of a potent bassline in this single, which would have given it a dose of swing that possibly could have attracted some R&B fans to Leask’s sound, but I can appreciate why he went with a tried and true blueprint instead. Despite the non-experimental attitude that he’s applying to the construction of this song, there’s a certain charm to the conventional nature of the hook, and moreover, the transition from one verse to the next. He’s not breaking any new ground, but I don’t believe that he necessarily wanted (or needed) to here.
I was only somewhat aware of the extended catalogue of music that David Leask has released up until this point in his life prior to now, but after getting addicted to the harmonies contained within “When You Think No One Loves You,” I plan on taking a closer look at his work through the winter season. He’s got such a natural talent that is essentially unfiltered in this track, and I’m sure that I’m not the only critic saying as much this November. Leask is still firing on all cylinders while approaching his fourth musical era in style, and you needn’t do much more than see the video for his new single to get what all of the buzz surrounding its release has been about.