A yearning piano extends its elegiac melody through our speakers and into ethers as David Leask’s “When You Think No One Loves You” begins to play, but it won’t be all by itself for very long. Emerging from the shadows, we hear the first few words of a verse spill out from Leask’s reticent vocal, which is presented to us in its most exposed form in this latest performance. Slowly but surely, the confidence in his voice builds enough momentum to overtake the melancholic undertow of the piano, and we make contact with a cordiality that will carry on throughout the duration of the song. “When You Think No One Loves You” is as multilayered a track as this powerful songwriter has released to date, but for as surreal a composition as it is, it doesn’t translate as being particularly complicated at all.
Leask’s serenade feels almost tortured in a couple of spots here, as if to convey some sort of understated emotion that words alone could never get across to us. There’s as much to be learned about the narrative of this song through the tone of our leading man’s execution as there is through the substance of his lyrics, and while this isn’t exactly a new formula for David Leask, it’s definitely produced in a much neater fashion on this occasion than it has been in his last couple of albums released during the 2010s. He’s got an amazing gift as both a singer and a songwriter, and it’s exhibited wonderfully in this latest release.
Fans of David Leask both old and new need to make a point of giving “When You Think No One Loves You” a listen before the year is out, as it is absolutely one of the stronger soul singles to debut in a year that has been mostly missing good music of this strain. I’m not at all convinced that we’ve heard the last of Leask’s peak material after hearing this song for myself, and if anything, there’s a great chance that he might submit some of his best stuff yet in the decade to come. With 2020 around the corner, this is one songwriter who can be depended upon for a solidly harmonious performance.