Leo Sawikin originally gained attention as frontman of the folk-rock group, The Chordaes, before deciding to step out on his own. His debut double A-side, ‘Born Too Late/Take What You Want’ showed him to be more than capable of that, conveying wistful nostalgia and emotional intuition rarely seen in the mainstream songwriters of today.
‘A Whole World Waiting’ is the latest in a line of releases leading up to the singer’s debut full length, Row Me Away, which is set to drop in Autumn 2021. In the album, Sawikin looks inwards, into the mind of someone who struggles to be present and enjoy the little moments during this rollercoaster ride of a thing we call life. Sawikin’s songwriting is a mature and measured response to always feeling like someone else has it better, that looks at the world’s problems and wonders why there is such a lack of compassion. Instead, the compassion and companionship is created through his music.
As a songwriter, Leo is deeply inspired by classic pop and rock legends Brian Wilson, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, and Jimmy Webb – the latter two especially for the way they blended simple melodies with complex harmonic ideas. Tempo wise, Leo ventures on the album from hard driving rockers (‘Born Too Late’, ‘A Whole World Waiting’) to dreamlike atmospheric ballads (‘If I Stayed’, ‘Take What You Want’).
“Overall, the new album reflects this feeling that you’ve missed out on the best the world has to offer, and just the pervading sense that things are getting more difficult in the world – and every attending emotion that goes along with it,” Leo adds. “It’s kind of like letting go of that and trying to figure out what you do after everything falls apart. When I wrote these songs, they were about the way my friends and I were thinking, that the world we think we have is not going to last long. We were thinking more in terms of issues like climate change or the political divisiveness, but the pandemic, which none of us expected, gives the songs more power. We’re already starting to live that new reality where you can’t turn your back for a second. In the old world, we could distract ourselves with our day to day lives, but now we’re forced to stare down just how fragile everything is.”