‘Still I Wait’: Anna Leone’s Ode to the Introvert
(TURN SOUND ON ︎)
WRITTEN BY FLORENCE POTTER
(AlTERNATIVE, HYPNOTIC FOLK, INDIE)
After the success of her first EP, Wandered Away, Stockholm-born singer/songwriter Anna Leone has released new single, ‘Still I Wait’
(All Points/Half Awake). Produced by Paul Butler (Michael Kiwanuka, Hurray For The Riff Raff), the track is an ode to the introvert. Self-professed as shy and a sufferer of stage-fright, this comes as no surprise as Leone enjoyed the escapism of video games and sci-fi worlds as a teen. ‘Still I Wait’ acts as a window into Leone’s mind, and into the ubiquitous struggle in accepting one’s own vulnerability as a necessary step in order to make the meaningful connections we all desire.
As art continues to reflect the times, ‘Still I Wait’ is no exception. Speaking about the music video for the single (directed by Savannah Setten), Leone draws inspiration from the past year of pandemic-enforced isolation, reflecting that “it was interesting to depict loneliness in a different way. How people can be close together but still feel disconnected and how it can be a challenge to reach out in isolation.” While the parallel wasn’t intentional, the single is beautifully serendipitous, and also speaks on a more metaphysical isolation. That is, a yearning to experience life unencumbered by insecurity or self-doubt, echoed by the dream-like video, as Leone leans out wistfully from a glowing window watching the shadowy world go by.
The track accesses such feelings perfectly, Leone musing in her raspy yet gentle voice, imbued with solemnity, ‘watch me stand in the shade/while I crave the light.’ In the chorus she continually questions into the ether: ‘when will I bear my soul?’ and ‘oh, when will I love someone?’ The production is simple, yet feels entirely full, with Leone’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, often layered in echoing harmonies, met by delicately plucked acoustic guitar. There is no cliched emotional crescendo at the end of the track, which serves to keep the poignancy of Leone’s quiet and profound expression. It is deeply stirring, but warm and comforting in its relatability; there are no gimmicks, just the raw release of emotion, leaving you somewhat enchanted. As an ode to the introvert, the track epitomises the struggle to be vulnerable with others, while simultaneously bearing Leone’s own vulnerability in sharing her introspection. It is clear that this vulnerability is only a boon in Leone’s steady movement out of the shade, and into the light.
You can listen to her track and EP ‘Still I Wait’ below on Spotify: