As a frequent student of music theory, I am scrambling to define how Leo Stannard plays guitar. The methodology of stacking separately recorded instrumentals is obvious, but the specific technique of slap-plucking the capo necked guitar is something I’ve never witnessed before. The bizarre style with which Stannard pseudo-strums through “Please Don’t” almost seems fake in a visual sense, as the music video gives off a “Hollywood magic” impression that I initially struggled to believe was real. Stannard’s incredibly basic acoustic ax is struck like a inventively crude combination of a harp and a bongo as if elemental guitar lessons never existed during his primitive stages of learning his personal instrument.
Raised in Leicester but developed and seasoned in London, this small town Englishman reflects his wide-eyed domestic audaciousness with reticently ambitious big-city dreams. His uncorrupted bashfulness and bright independence resembles an Ed Sheeran-esque likability that can be lightly characterized as the ever-charming “nice guy” label. There’s no doubt that the faultless portrayal is both attractive and dangerous in the singer/songwriter world, but as is the case with any young acoustic artist, Stannard’s destiny is his own to make or break.