“Nobody’s listening / Don’t know the world you’re in / You want someone to understand” croons David Leask in the first couple of lines of his new single “When You Think No One Loves You,” a sense of defenselessness trailing his every word. Leask has never been one to hold anything back from his audience in the music that he records, but he’s getting especially vulnerable with us in this latest release originally found on 2018’s Six in 6/8 EP. “When You Think No One Loves You” is a poetic ballad that calls upon its creator to remind us of what he can accomplish in the studio when the energy is flowing in the right direction, and it’s a great listen for anyone who likes modest pop melodies driven by a strong lead singer.
Lyrics aside, this instrumental arrangement is really poignant and bittersweet. The piano is mixed to appear streamlined, but there’s a lot of texture in its harmony for us to behold when listening at a slightly higher volume than most would. The instrumentation lends an emotional agency to the verses that probably wouldn’t have been present had a full band replaced the basic setup that Leask decided to go with in this song, and while it’s far from being an elaborate piece of classical music, it’s got a much more inventive design than a lot of the mainstream nonsense topping the charts lately have.
“When You Think No One Loves You” is definitely not the most detailed composition that David Leask has recorded in his lifetime, but it’s a lovely autumnal ballad to be enjoyed by his dearest of fans this November just the same. Canadian singer/songwriters are having a landmark year right now, but among the more consistent and remarkable in skill is Leask, who shows us once again that he’s all about melodicism over muscularity in this most recent single. I’m interested in seeing how this does with American audiences, because if it’s able to capture some of that elusive publicity south of the border that it has domestically, David Leask could start an entirely new and exciting chapter in his long and storied career.