CD Review: Wendy Leung Stop/Start

Wendy Leung CDBy: Sheena Lyonnais
January 16, 2009

Wendy Leung’s third release Stop/Start is a sweet, melodic record packed with a lot of heart.   She is an ambitious classically trained pianist/singer/songwriter whose music borders a little on the coffee shop side yet boasts admirable originality worthy of music festival Lilith Fair.  The album is refreshingly packaged, complete with images and partial lyrics inside a lovely artistic little insert. It’s a pleasant additional element to an already pretty parcel.

Though she’s been playing music since she was a young child, it is the words that catch my attention.  In standout tracks "Dear Edison" Leung sings, "did you know I would scale walls for you?"  and in "Better" she quietly sings, "the things you know just slowly seem to fade now."  The songs portray pure poetry in a kaleidoscope of emotions shifting between nostalgic soul-driven piano ballads and soft indie rock.

Leung has a voice that pierces through the air unobtrusively and is just as bold as her thick blunt cut black bangs. The songs are a beautiful listen, which is why they captured the attention of her newly cultivated band featuring guitarist David Stein (Key Witness), bassist Scott Andrews (Provincial Parks) and drummer Andrew Haust (Entire Cities). It was recorded at Toronto’s Chemical Sound (Born Ruffians/Tokyo Police Club/Amy Millan), automatically upping the indie cred for any artist. Stop/Start is a solid record that isn’t always powerful but maintains honesty and passion. 

You can catch Leung and her band live at Rancho Relaxo on January 29 or you can listen to her music and buy her record off www.myspace.com/wendyleung.

TTT (out of 5)

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