Words by Angelika May
When we think of the word “belly,” what seems to come to mind? Bellies are associated with warmth, nurture, growing life and sustaining life through eating. Emotionally the belly harbours the brunt of our feelings. More importantly and instinctively, the belly can be our first indicator that a situation isn’t quite right, commonly known as our “gut feeling.” It can also symbolise feeling nervous, or cowardice towards a situation (hence the term often quoted in terrible Sphagetti Western’s “are ya yellow-bellied?”).
Credit: Celia Jean
Leo Lore’s new track, “Belly” is all-encompasing; delving into these “gut feelings” through Lore’s honest and raw lyricism often inspired by the complexities of romantic relationships. The song is essentially about, “missing someone you know is no good for you” and whilst these anxieties and disappointments are expressed, they are also soothed.
Lore’s soulful lead relaxes us into the track slowly, with a voice like honey and a beat to match. Lover’s Rock, a subgenre of reggae seems to be defining Lore’s sound at the moment and was hinted at in his first EP “Blue Print”, with songs such as “Sinnerman”. This sound has been executed meticulously through Lore’s collaboration with long time mate and producer Mikey Shaw (Dub Cavern), who worked with Lore on “Measure” released in 2022, which also falls under this genre.
Lore has always been praised for his blend between a contemporary and retro feel, “Belly” to my mind is more true of the latter. It’s hard not to hear nods to prolific Lover’s Rock artists such as Dennis Brown. Weighing “Belly” up with the his previous tracks, it seems that although the theme of relationships remains present, there is a shift in Lore’s perspective that has changed his sound. Previous tracks such as “Blue Print” and “Give Me Somewhere”, were devised with horns, large crescendos and long decredcendos, insinuating a hurtling heartbreak. “Belly” feels different, it feels like a breath of fresh air and a “fuck it” attitude.
When I hear this track, images flood of serene Carribean beaches, white sand, crystal clear waters and yes the ever present pang of heartbreak, but it’s fine. We’re healing and we’re moving on with ease.
Listen to 'Belly' here
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