Monday Music Muse: Lionel Neykov
How to dodge mediocrity every Monday and boost your music street cred with the next big thing.
By Maria Popova
We’re starting something new: Monday Music Muse, a quick bite every Monday that helps you navigate the shoreless ocean of mediocrity and the small but nonetheless overwhelming puddle of goodness that is today’s music landscape. In other words, so much out there, so little time to dodge the bad and find the good, that we thought you may appreciate some help.
Every week, we’ll feature a lesser-known artist worthy of your time, ears and dollar.
So without further ado, let’s launch with half-French, half-Bulgarian New-York-based singer-songwriter Lionel Neykov. Between the soulful vocals, the deeply heartfelt lyrics and the acoustic guitar that churns out understated perfection, it’s easy to get boggled down in comparisons to Amos Lee, Jack Johnson and John Meyer.
But Lionel’s music is a gem all its own.
It also doesn’t hurt that he has a great sign-of-the-times story to tell — a true indie poster child, he got discovered through YouTube and really made the cultural radar in December 2008, when Spanish agency Ricardo Pérez Asociados licensed one of his tracks in a TV commercial for the Spanish Christmas Lottery.
He then decided to completely circumvent the music industry’s standard distribution model, releasing his fantastic debut album, Songs of Want and Loss, using nothing but web tools and his fans’ support.
Check out his album on Amazon and keep your eye out for Lionel while you show off your impeccable indie music taste at your cultural gatherings of choice.
Published January 12, 2009