Leslie Stevens has long been touted for her skills as a strong and diverse vocalist, a trait on full display on the title track and latest single from her upcoming sophomore effort, Sinner. Backed by gentle percussion and waning steel guitar, Stevens’ cadence as a singer is resonant, well-paced and fluid in its ability to cushion itself against gorgeous instrumental passages. The restraint in her velvety voice paired with the psychedelic tones in the production manifests into a beautiful shade of Americana that recalls the cosmic country of Emmylou Harris’ most tender ballads.
“Sinner” reasserts Stevens’ capabilities as a lights out country crooner, but more impressively, the song also flashes her growth as a songwriter. Exploring the moral dilemmas of imperfection, she ultimately finds comfort in the idea that in the end, the act of sin is what truly makes us human, a sentiment reflected in lyrics like – “roses turn wild in the weeds.” Internal pondering and observing existential dualities figure to be recurring themes on Stevens’ upcoming LP. If the title track is any indication, it should be a thoughtful and immersive listening experience.
Sinner is out August 23 via Thirty Tigers/The Orchard. Pre-order the album here.