Every now and again you hear a single that feels that it’s that little bit different from anything else that is out there at the moment and could be something to properly take off if given the correct exposure. The debut single by Cork singer/songwriter Jess Leen, Boys, was one of these songs the first time I heard it.
Boys is the definition of bop, immediately catchy with beautiful put together lyrics and performed with a warmth and enthusiasm by Leen that is extremely compelling listening. The song explores how two different people can sometimes hit it off in a perfect way and leave each other thinking about each other constantly. It’s a lovely message, and Leen delivers it with in a way that is instantly relatable to the listener – the message of someone occupying all your thoughts in a way that has never happened before is one that everybody has experienced at some stage.
There is a sense of excitement around the track and what is to come from the Corkonian, and this was in evidence at the launch of the single in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin tonight (14 February 2019). Across the forty-five minute set, Leen looked every bit the future pop star – endlessly charismatic and funny while also demonstrating a stage presence that you would expect from the accomplished actor. It also showed the impressive setlist of potential singles that we have to look forward to in the future with songs like Hey Jack and Only You standing out as songs with a lot of potential. Shout out must also be given to Leen’s backing band on the night, Phil Dunphy (bass), Dylan Howe (guitar and synth), Hallie Smythe (backing vocals), Jacob Fry (drums), Luke Howard (keyboard), and Kevin Herron (guitar), who were sensational.
Her show in Smock Alley, and the evidence of this single, suggest that there is a lot more to come from Leen. This is going to be an exciting journey.