> Album Review: Real Home by Kiran Leonard - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

Album Review: Real Home by Kiran Leonard

He’s still in his late twenties, but Manchester-born, South London-based Kiran Leonard’s songwriting is mature, experimental, and bold beyond his years. Real Home, his sixth studio album, shows no signs of complacency or of slowing down. It’s possibly his most satisfying work to date and the artist’s approach remains as uncompromising as ever.

Featuring musicians such as Lauren Auder, Otto Willberg, Magda McLean, Alex McKenzie, Isabelle Thorn, and Jasper Llewellyn, it’s very much a collaborative effort that draws from eclectic sources; elusive and hard to pin down. Leonard even used found objects from his father’s shed, with these included as percussion. It’s this eccentric spirit that never lets up throughout, without ever feeling contrived or jarring to the listener. It’s as accessible as it is adventurous.



‘Pass Between Houses’ has Leonard’s typical fiery intensity with choppy percussion and stabbing guitar, but elsewhere there’s a broader sonic palette, as with the anti-folk of ‘My Love, Let’s Take the Stage Tonight’; the elliptical, whirling ‘The Kiss’, which has flamenco-esque drama in its bones; and the brooding piano ballad that is the title track.


Kiran Leonard – Pass Between Houses

Genres aren’t helpful in understanding Leonard’s sound – he has been compared to everyone from Jeff Buckley to Richard Dawson in recent years, but is very much possessed of his own uniqueness.

His voice can be soft and tender or soaring, as he navigates complex themes of climate change, place, love, and identity. The lyrics are more open than in previous work, more candid, whereas in past offerings they could feel somewhat opaque. On the strength of this beautiful and passionate album, he won’t be indie’s best-kept secret for much longer. The perennial outsider has found his home.



Real Home is out now via Memorials of Distinction 

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