Since the release of his debut album Rez Poetry, Leonard Sumner has been developing a reputation for his honest poetic style of storytelling. He uses his words to share observations on life which cover family, cultural history, the state of the world and other topics. To help express his lyrics, he uses a mixture of sounds that blend hip-hop, spoken word, country, and more.
Sumner now returns with a new collection of songs called Standing in the Light. His opening track, “Waiting on a Storm,” shows off what this talented lyricist has to offer. He has an impressive attention to detail as he talks about aspects of his life and those around him. This is followed up by “My Observation,” which is honest with its contents which he shares as spoken word.
Throughout of the rest of the album, there are many other great examples of how Sumner moulds his words to share thoughts, feelings, and stories. He is so honest with what he creates, it makes the listener think about themselves and more. His bio describes perfectly what he offers: “In this era of unsettling history and healing wounds of the past, Sumner’s music is an expression of medicine that walks the line between fortitude and fragility.”
Leonard Sumner Has a Way with Words that’s an Art of its Own
As for the musical landscapes, they are mainly delivered from Sumner’s acoustic guitar which gently flows from song to song. This can be heard during “The Ceremony” and “Memories,” which also have a slight country feel to them. When his words deliver a passionate message he can bring a sound to reflect it, as “Fire 2 the Water” proves. This track brings a more aggressive tone that feels inspired by Rage Against the Machine with its use of beats.
“Resistance” is a great starting point if you are new to his music. The use of the hook “Swing low, sweet chariot / Coming for to carry me home” has something that new listeners can recognize. The song also shows off how well Sumner can sing. He has a great flow when bringing a hip-hop element or spoken word, but he has an impressive vocal tone. It has a warmth that subtly grabs your attention.
Standing in the Light is an honest collection of memories, observations and more. This singer-songwriter is fearless with how he moulds words that he wants to share. Leonard Sumner is a true talent and more than deserves the respect he is receiving for his art.