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Leonard the Elder (Norway) – The Maverick (single)

With a Fab Four hair style right out of Mathew Street’s Cavern Club c.1963 he might be John Leonard the Elder.

In reality he is Leonard van vurren, out of Oslo. The song, his first in this particular project, is ‘The Maverick’ and social media images suggest he might be one.

He says ‘The Maverick’ is a song of few words but “a symbolical and repetitive way of questioning the dishonest and games people juggle with their emotions and truth.” Well that covers a wide range of subjects, from affairs of the heart, to business, to politics, to…

He adds, “the lyrics describe a tense setting, with people getting served cards, with eyes almost closed trying to hide the frankness and the truth they are about to say. As a metaphor, this is also being served in our mundane settings, where this goes on and on.”

I’m not entirely sure what that means but the first part had me conjuring up an image of the Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut, you know that really weird one with Tom Cruise and his foot-taller wife Nicole Kidman and that masked orgy.

And the second part; perhaps that you have to live with and by the cards you are dealt.

Musically, it is equally experimental. It opens like the beginning of a piece of symphonic metal then quickly converts into an operatic theme that sounds as if it is being played on an out of tune harpsichord.

Next up is a smattering of hip hop voiced in a deadpan style and from then on it is fairly formless electronic keys and guitar apart from the reassuring underpinning by a beat which might be crashed out by a couple of dustbin lids being brought together. Altogether worthy of a maverick.

In fact that prolonged session might have been appropriate for the film orgy scene I mentioned earlier.

I listened to it a couple of times and it began to remind me of a local (to me) artist, Kiran Leonard, who has released many electronically experimental albums in a short career, all wrapped up with philosophical meaning. All his albums have received critical acclaim, but that’s all.

The moral is that introspective experimentation will rarely win a big audience and it won’t get you on Eurovision. But you always will have an audience and it will always find meaning in your work. (Even if, for a few moments here Leonard could be Morten Harket)!

‘The Maverick’ is available for streaming on13th April.

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