words by ben tipple
photo by andrew wells
There’s an unusual structure to “Bloodshot”, the newest track by Cleveland, Ohio outfit Dead Leaves. From the moment Elliott Blair’s vocals kick in, the track barely steps back from its self-reflective lyrics. It unfolds in acts, from its pop-inspired high energy opening to its somewhat theatrical end.
Through Blair’s voice and the track’s careful melodrama, there’s a lazy comparison to quirky pop counterparts, yet from a trio clearly brought up on a healthy dose of emo. “Bloodshot” sits somewhere between My Chemical Romance and fun., but is immeasurably better than that comparison may initially suggest.
What it shares with both is abundant personality. It’s a huge leap forward from their 2014 self-titled EP, which stayed closer to Dead Leaves’ downtrodden scene-mates. Instead, they’ve forged forward with a reinvigorated sound. They brilliantly cement a new tone, which takes elements of what they have done before but builds on it with an emerging confidence.
Taken from their forthcoming Vultures LP, “Bloodshot” is the clear result of moving away from the norm, venturing further from the path well worn. Judging by these three-plus minutes, it’s a gamble that has genuinely paid off and you can listen to it below.
Vultures is released on August 25, via Take This To Heart Records
Pre-order it here
Dead Leaves are heading out on tour in September: