In 2011 we labeled Leonard Friend "The Next Big Thing", calling his music "a flashback to what great dance music used to be." We heralded his music for what it was—a cross between retro and modern dance music, done well, and infectiously. It's dance inducing in a non-manufactured way, and provides a dose of refreshment in a remarkably productive, yet equally stale American dance scene. This is all not to say that Leonard Friend is the second coming, nor is it that Earmilk can "Predict musical future"—but we were right about this guy. Since his quasi-self titled debut EP Lynyrd Frynd, the rising star has kept busy. He's released a handful of covers, videos and a collection of singles that ultimately culminate as part of his latest work, the LXLF EP.
While "Holograms" and "Every Woman" harken back to what we heard in the EP's predecessor, they are nevertheless impressive tracks, snug comfortably alongside a handful of songs that seem exemplary of a further musical exploration that Leonard Friend is so keen on. The EP reflects a personally tumultuous year, yet despite its somewhat depressive manner, LXLF floats along in a charming manner, walking a line of heavyhearted introspect with confident, optomistic repose.
Leonard Friend is more than willing to admit he is still learning the ins and outs of dance production, and comparatively, the LXLF EP showcases some major steps forward against his earlier work. The composition, complexity, and overall production of LXLF feels more refined. There is a lot more to creating an album than packing a collection a tracks into a list and slapping a name on it. Leonard Friend is no stranger to what it takes in making an EP that steps above the rest, and we don't see that changing anytime soon.