by Jaclyn O’Connell (@jaclyn_oconnell)
The feeling as though you lack purpose is haunting and unsettling. You might wander day-to-day, job-to-job, aimlessly in search of that one thing that brings you happiness and a feeling of accomplishment. If we’re lucky enough, that “thing” decides to show up in our mid-twenties. Sometimes it doesn’t show up at all, which sucks—a lot. But lead singer and guitarist of Cincinnati’s Leggy, Veronique Allaer stumbled upon her purpose in a rather painful way: after breaking her hip by falling off a fire escape in DC one rowdy 4th of July evening. Indeed, Allaer was put on this Earth to make music; she got together with high school pal Kerstin Bladh and good friend Chris Campbell and with that Leggy was formed.
Fast forward to 2016 where we find Leggy’s iridescent debut, full-length release, a careful compilation of three previously released EPs (2014’s Grrrls Like Us, 2015’s Nice Try, and 2016’s DANG, which was recorded in one night) plus one new song, “Kick the Habit.” Resulting in a crushing 37-minute narrative of self-love and unrequited (and sometimes overly-requited) romance, Leggy props up the common mid-twenties feeling of emotional confusion. From finding love in all the wrong places to feeling lost within one’s own mind, the complexity of Allaer’s lyrics shift as swiftly and harshly as a troubled sea. “Sweet Tooth” captures this hard-to-understand juxtaposition of pining after someone who just doesn’t treat you quite like you should be treated: embarrassing you just to the point of a flushed face, but still having an emotional hold over you that’s borderline irresistible; “I bat my eyes you call me 'Bambi' / Fluff my hair you call me 'Barbie' / But by the end of the party / You'll be Danny, I'll be Sandy.”
Leggy’s 60’s lo-fi garage, surf rock paired with shimmering 50’s vocal melodies and modern-day pop influences carry over in songs like “Kick the Habit,” “Grrrls Like Us,” and the Lana Del Rey-inspired “Even Lana,” which references the pop singer’s song “Blue Jeans.” Campbell’s snare-dripped rhythm and Bladh’s harmonious bass equally match Allaer’s foggy guitar and urgent vocals throughout the album. Soaring from song to song, Leggy reimagines the ideal of amorous longing to a brighter, more self-sufficient state of adulthood while still poking some light fun at the helpless romantic in all of us.