Recorded in Calgary, Canada, “Prime” is the debut release from LeeSun, and is a magnificent menagerie of tantalizing tunes that from the first track, endearingly titled “Mickey Mouse”, are compelling enough to induce this listener at least into a state of deep affection. Often tinged with flavours of melancholy, track after track on “Prime” bring the listener further and further into their sentient being.
Several of the tracks have a jazz sensibility about them, but that is not to be reductionist about the album as a whole. “Mountain Song” for example has a more urgent, frenetic flow, and yet again “How Long” and “Missing You Already” (despite the startling opening count in) have all the hallmarks of some of the fine new “country” acts that are being given recognition at the moment. “Wise” is given muscle by the strident use of the organ, which adds texture to many of the songs throughout “Prime”. Further weight is added to the mix on tracks such as “500 Steps” and “Without Me” with the use of brass and woodwind, but never at any time does the album break the mood of calm contemplation and reflection.
The vocal is produced and mixed in such a way that the listener is given intimate access to the lyrics, and adds to the poignancy as a whole. For the listener who enjoys lyrics whispered and clandestine, enthralling and luxurious, but mischievous and playful, in equal measure, then “Prime” could very well be of interest. And for an album that is an uncomplicated collection of tunes, that possess no gimmick to entice the casual listener in, LeeSun has delivered an assortment of stories, with easily engaging melodies, which transcend many of their contemporaries and are a credit to her craft.
According to the press release LeeSun began her musical training at the tender age of 8, has called several countries home, and was particularly influenced musically by the composer Schubert. Hopefully there will be more to come from her wealth of experience and knowledge which is what makes “Prime” so significant. There are many, many influences on “Prime” but they have been taken and infused into a sumptuous, organic collection of tunes that will leave the listener wondering why they ever had a care in the world. Now, please excuse me while I listen again to “The Humming Song” and break down into melancholic floods of tears.