Max Leone Cements Himself as an Anti-Pop Prodigy on “Malleable”


With such a massive catalogue of music that has been gifted into the world over time, it's always shocking and exciting to me when I hear an ingenious reinvention that sounds anew. That is the challenge modern-day artists face, right? With there being an open invitation to everyone to release original music freely online with the digital age, the question persists: how do you authentically stand out?

Max Leone rises to the occasion and offers a successful response to this question with his latest single "Malleable." It's safe to call him a prodigy in anti-pop. "Malleable" demonstrates Leone's technical understanding of what makes for good, new-sounding music along with his in-depth emotional capacity and ability to convey a feeling. You know simultaneously that the song required complex musicianship, but the finished product also sounds effortlessly soothing to your ear. A beautiful introduction of the guitar and Max's vocals, followed by a distortion of the guitar that pulls at the heartstrings, and then the perfectly locked-in beat drop makes for quite the masterful combination.

"Malleable" dives into the pain and frustration of drifting apart from someone who once felt close. Needing to be DIY, Leone and his sister crafted the music video while quarantined in their hometown of Portland, Oregon. The camera follows Leone through lonely landscapes and empty streets, intensifying the song's bittersweet aura.

Max Leone's signature sound continues to impress the industry. Billboard hailed him as a "Gen Z bedroom pop star." His previous single "The Beach" was produced by Alexander 23 and received high praise. Riding this wave and being a songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist at the mere age of 21 years-old, Leone is destined for even greater success. We can expect to enjoy his debut EP later this year.