Depending on context, the word Xenos in Greek means anything from stranger to alien. Timoleon Veremis, also known as Leon of Athens, also felt like a stranger when he first moved from London to Greece. Now, the indie-pop artist once again revisits the estrangement he feels in the world he lives in today. A world filled with political and social turmoil. Even turmoil that brews in his home country.
His platform is ‘Xenos.’ An LP that is both thoughtful as it is artful. Blending beautiful production, fresh indie, thought-provoking lyrics, gleaming pop and electronic, Leon of Athens uses his music to start a meaningful conversation. This latest effort contrasts to 2014’s guitar-focused ‘Global.’ For many reasons, such as adding acclaimed producer David Kosten (Bat for Lashes) to the mix. ‘Xenos,’ is the artist’s way of exploring the same political and personal themes with a more pop-centric flair
Take the first indie track ‘Aeroplane.’ It starts off with an electric guitar riff that rolls into the verses. While filled with delightful instrumentals and lyrics, there are tinges of melancholy about being in love in the digital age. Then, its follow-up is the exhilarating title cut ‘Xenos’. It is layered with guitar samples, space-like synths, and aggressive beats. Here, Athens refers to the genocide of indigenous people and refugees.
‘Utopia’ and ‘Fire Inside of You” are one of the stand-out tracks. Lush electronics and sampled riffs embellish over deep, yet catchy lyrics. The bridges are as charming as pop can get. ‘Serpent’s Egg’ is dug in dark electronics. The mood heightens with minor melodies and complex instrumentals. Next, is the heartfelt ‘Letters to My Father.’ Athens refers to the time when he visited his sick father. ‘Final Moment’ glistens with bright synths and electronics, while the frolicking ‘Corfu’ takes a more tropical twist. ‘Corfu’ refers to the beautiful island in Greece.
Finally, the LP ends on a lighter note with ‘Moonlight.’ The airy pop-ballad features synths, beats, and vocal harmonies.
Leon of Athens – ‘Xenos’ is out now. The track listing is…
“Fire Inside You”
“Letters to my Father”