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With Almost No Fanfare, Yung Lean Released New Music Last Week

The Swedish rapper put out two EPs and a single under his jonatan leandoer127 moniker.
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
Foto via Wikipedia.

Yung Lean contains multitudes: he's a man of varied tastes, and thus he creates varied sounds, making music under more than one name. One of his alter egos is jonatan leandoer127 – he was born Jonatan Leandoer Håstad – under which he has recently released two EPs and a single. And, until Reddit user Sophiacoolerthanu clocked the new music on Soundcloud and posted to /r/hiphopheads, very few people batted an eyelid.


This, obviously, is because Lean himself didn't share or promote the tracks via any of his Yung Lean social media accounts as has become custom for musicians self-uploading new work. If you're one of the true heads already following jonatan leandoer127, you'd have seen a chill Facebook shoutout or just noticed the new tracks on Soundcloud. Rather than cross-promote using his bigger platform as Yung Lean, ya boy let the new releases largely have a life of their own, which is a rare move in a saturated industry where artists rely on being noticed and standing out from the crowd.

As far as the music itself is concerned, the two EPs are Katla (which was produced by Palmistry) and Psychopath Ballads (which includes songs that had previously been available via the jonatan leandoer127 channel). Both are, as the jonatan leandoer127 project always has been, a departure from Yung Lean released: Katla has both touches of bedroom R&B ("Helvetet & Jag") and a spoken word recitation of a passage from literal Paradise Lost set to music, so there's something for everyone! Psychopath Ballads is similarly varied, with clear influence from longtime Yung Lean favourite Daniel Johnston ("On the Road") and even, dare I say it, flashes of emo ("Primal Fear")? Extremely prayer hands emoji.

Rounding off the releases is single "Toxic" which sounds kind of like Kevin Abstract fronting a shoegaze band (VERY GOOD), and the whole bunch are a very strong testament to Lean's creativity, his desire to make music for its own sake, his gift for doing so (fuk the haters honestly), and his versatility. Long may he continue leaving these Soundcloud Easter eggs.

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