LIO Track ‘Burn’ – Single Review

Soaring vocals, heartfelt lyrics, and epic production enrapture the listener with ‘Burn’, the smoulderingly epic new single from LIO, Sheffield’s top ambient alternative 4-piece.

After arriving as an exchange student from a small village in the Netherlands called Riethoven, LIO’s songwriter and vocalist Leonie Sloots found her musical home in Sheffield. Starting off as a solo acoustic act, Leonie soon enlisted the help of keyboard player Chris Miles, drummer Richard Blakey, and guitarist Jonathan Wright to launch LIO as a full force, with the release of their debut single ‘Jealousy’ in 2018. One year later and LIO are now ready to release their third and most anthemic single yet with ‘Burn.’

The track opens with a swirling hypnotic synth, conjuring an air of anticipation before launching into the verse. The opening line of “You & I will never be the same, I’m not the one to blame” is an indication that the song will be a heartfelt lament at the breakdown of a once strong relationship. Leonie describes the track as “my side of a story that used to have 2 people involved, then 3, then only 1”,a story that has clearly sparked up an inferno of complicated emotions.

The cross stick style drum beat and airy guitar combination lends an appealing trip-hop quality to the verses. The synth returns for a stripped down pre-chorus, with the vocals gliding smoothly over the top as the singer tries to pick up the “shattered”pieces before realising she has to “admit defeat”.The sudden calmness really amplifies the power of the incoming chorus. Laced with complex and unusual vocal harmonies; the chorus melody soars high above a euphoric whirlpool of booming drums and ambient guitar as the singer testifies tragically that“The future is bleaker without you here, We burned it down.”

The opposition of uplifting instrumentals, with the singer’s resignation that she feels“weaker, without you near”is powerfully resolved in the bridge, where the situation that was originally starting to “devour me”will instead be channelled to “empower me”. The quality of the lyricism depicts the decline of a relationship, but laces it with enough poetic mystery to keep you coming back to the song to uncover a new thread of understanding.

Launching into the final chorus, there is one last taste of LIO’s trademark soaring, melodic, howls from the heavens, rumbling thuds of booming drums and reverb soaked minimalist guitar. Closing with that celestial undulating synth that opened ‘Burn’, the songdisappears like a wisp of smoke drifting from the ashes of a dying blaze.

Following on from the excellent ‘Jealousy’and ‘Growing Pains’,LIOare releasing 3rdsingle ‘Burn’on 26thApril 2019. The Netherland’s born, Sheffield based songwriter was one of five winners of the PRS Foundation Open Funded ‘Breakthrough’ award, which allowed the band to record the track at Higher Rhythm Studios in Doncaster with engineer Dan Whitehouse, and producer Andy Seward.

Follow LIO on Twitter.

Upcoming gigs:

  • – 4 May 2019 // Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool
  • – 8 May 2019 // Yellow Arch, Sheffield
  • – 8 June 2019 // TBA
  • – 4 July 2019 // Night & Day, Manchester
  • – 20 July 2019 // Tramlines Festival, Sheffield

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