Artist to Watch: Alex Lleo Rises with Radiant & Soulful Groove “4:05”

Alex Lleo © Ally Rincón
A spirited and soulful groove, Alex Lleo’s driving new song “4:05” is the kind of fresh inspiration we need right now – to rekindle our own sparks and look forward to more tomorrows.
for fans of Leif Vollebekk, Matt Corby
Stream: “4:05” – Alex Lleo




We are living through one of darkest times in modern memory. It’s okay to feel fragile; to feel broken, lost, and uninspired; to feel like the world is spiraling out of control, and there’s nothing you can do about it, other than hold on tight and pray you land safely.

Worcestershire’s Alex Lleo didn’t know what 2020 would look like when he wrote his new song, “4:05”; the artist, who introduced himself through two stunning back-to-back EPs in 2018, had been in a funk of his own last year. This track, with its message of independence and self-care, was meant, at least in part, to help pick himself up, dust himself off, and look ahead toward tomorrow’s possibilities.

But “4:05” is not just for Lleo anymore; it belongs to all of us now. A spirited and soulful groove, Alex Lleo’s driving “4:05” is the kind of fresh inspiration we need right now – to rekindle our own sparks, nurture heavy hearts, and look forward to more tomorrows.

4:05 - Alex Lleo

4:05 – Alex Lleo

Waitin’ for 4:05
Sippin’ back on some summer wine
Standing above the line
Waitin’ for the track to change my mind
And it’s too late now to turn around
And it’s too late now to turn around
On the mistakes that I’ve made
‘Gotta find a better place for my head

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “4:05,” Alex Lleo’s first release since 2018’s three-track Emanate EP and the first single off his upcoming third EP. Built off the notions of self-expression, freedom, and more, “4:05” is a dazzling four minute, five second jam that reintroduces Atwood’s 2018 artist to watch with a fiery passion.



“Singer/songwriter Alex Lleo is an anomaly for all the right reasons,” we wrote in our review of the artist’s debut single back in 2018. “First of all, he’s unafraid of sharing his full, authentic and flawed self. Secondly, he’s not after “pop polish”; he likes his music perfectly imperfect. His musical journey is only just beginning, but it’s already clear that Alex Lleo is poised for great things.” Rich and earthy, with warm harmonies and a layered horn section supporting his own expressive vocals, “Bedroom Door” proved a breathtaking start for Lleo, who (as we have learned) never shies away from sharing his authentic self in song.

Alex Lleo © 2018

Bedroom Door – Alex Lleo

Like the tide high at dusk
Or the night shining rough
Just take your time
Go out for yourself for once
Like the breeze blowing tough
Or the lie you live amongst
Just take your time
Go out for yourself for once
Go out for yourself for once

“4:05” continues this trend, finding the artist in a state of renewal and rediscovery. Recorded in Brooklyn, it’s the first in a set of songs recorded at Dodge 112 studios with producer Sahil Ansari, Quinn Devlin, and others last September.

Lleo shares the story of his new music below:

“It’s crazy how a random Insta hashtag set the groundwork for this project. After a busy 18 months, I became pretty drained in terms of creativity and was really struggling to see what my next move would be. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, I receive a direct message from another Artist out in Brooklyn. Quinn (Devlin) explained that he’d caught my live performance of ‘Calibrate’ on a Sofar session I’d done earlier in the summer. We started talking music and sort of became ‘pen pals’ I guess! Haha.
He began to tell me about Dodge 112, a studio his friends had set up in Gowanus, Brooklyn. He seemed pretty confident that if I ever found a way out there, he’d be able to pull it all together with the help of his friends. So with the seed planted my impulsive nature took the wheel. I asked Quinn if it’d be weird to just fly out to meet everyone, (we’d been talking about a month at this point). I just had to see if it was as good as it sounded. So I convinced my family I wasn’t going to be cat fished, and Quinn somehow convinced his Girlfriend to allow a complete stranger from another country to crash on their sofa for four days! And so I flew out early June on the cheapest ticket I could find, and got to sample Brooklyn for the first time!
It was definitely love at first sight for the Brooklyn scene and all the people in it! Think I slept about twelve hours during those four days! Quinn wasted no time in getting me acquainted with everyone. Dodge became the hub. People came and went. We jammed, had beers and I tried my first Bodega sandwich, which was a real turning point! Haha.
So after the four days were up, I flew back to England and knew what I had to do. I got in my van and worked every gig I could find that summer, saving up enough cash to make this all a reality. We continued to flesh out more arrangements over email, and I was introduced to Studio chief & producer Sahil Ansari. Over the summer we kept a dialog going, forwarding more ideas and thinking about arrangements. By the time September came around, I’d gigged enough shows to get myself out there.
I’ll admit, I was a little nervous on arrival. I’d basically gambled most of my savings on this trip, and although I had complete faith in Quinn, Sahil and the gang, the fact I still hadn’t met half the band, and I knew the schedule would be tight for everyone, left little room for error. Things slotted into place pretty quickly though, and my second night in the city was made extra special by an invitation to Brooklyn Steel to see Big Thief. It couldn’t of been more of an inspiration booster!
After a few apartment jams, and some awesome arrangement by Quinn, we felt ready to start recording. First day at Dodge, Sahil had us all jam through the songs to see how everything felt. I remember being instantly impressed by everyones professionalism. All theses really tasteful parts and ideas would flow in and out, all whilst being at a volume you could talk over! It just all felt so smooth. After a couple of days of pre-pro like that, we made a start.
‘4:05’ seemed a unanimous choice to start us off. I think everyone just instinctively knew how this one needed to be, ‘cruisey’. It also felt pretty fitting from a personal point for me. The idea for this one came during a moment of weird uncertainty about not only my music, but some relationships that had suffered through some poor decision making. This idea of ‘go out for yourself for once’ was set as a sort of reminder to anyone that often puts others before themselves, to take time out and recharge. Written from the perspective of someone who has often shown some pretty co-dependant traits, it was my attempt at trying to acknowledge and thank those people in my life, whilst simultaneously prompting the value of independence for everyone!
The whole recording process went like a dream. With me in the booth, we had Jordan Wolff on drums accompanied by Andy Shimm on Bass. Quinn Devlin on the Rhodes with Zac Calluori on electric guitar. It was a great vantage point standing in this little box looking through the glass at everyone, including producer Sahil, nestled between cymbals, rack gear and speakers. It might not be the biggest studio, but Sahil knows how to extract every nuance in that room, and definitely got the best out of all of us! After the foundations we tracked, we brought in incredible talents like Sarah Cicero on BV’s and Eli Aleinikoff on Sax.
Overall I was in Brooklyn for little over a month. I got to experience my first real Halloween, discovered the wonders of Trader Joe’s, and made some truly incredible friends. Being surrounded by countless talented and good natured people has really given me a fresh perspective, and I think that honesty and kinship comes across in these recordings… I feel like I’ve found my musical home out in New York, and I can’t wait to be back!
Alex Lleo © Ally Rincón

Alex Lleo © Ally Rincón



Like the breeze blowing tough
Or the lie you live amongst
Just take your time
Go out for yourself for once
Go out for yourself
Learn to live learn to take
The balance is yours to make
Learn to live learn to take
The balance is yours to make

Lleo’s music has been a group effort from the beginning; he’s the kind of artist who is more interested than having his song shine over himself. If that means pulling back to let the pianist or drummer take center stage, he will forsake the spotlight for as long is necessary to capture the feeling he’s after. Just as he urges his subject to find balance in life, Lleo also seeks balance through his intimate and organic musical arrangements.

We’re not out of this pandemic yet, but hopefully music like this shine a little healing light. Perhaps you will hear this song and get lost in its vast space; you might dwell in its compelling grooves and dynamic textures. No matter how it hits you, “4:05” is sure to uplift, inspire, and ignite a flame deep inside. Alex Lleo is back with a flash of brilliance. His music is a tender, reflective, and much-needed balm in these trying times. Stream “4:05” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Waitin’ for 4:05
Sippin’ back on some summer wine
Tired of the backseat ride
Lookin’ for direction in my standstill life
And it’s too late now to turn around
And it’s too late now to turn around
On the mistakes that I’ve made
‘Gotta find a better place for my head
Like the tide high at dusk
Or the night shining rough
Just take your time
Go out for yourself for once

— —

:: stream/purchase “4:05” here ::
Stream: “4:05” – Alex Lleo



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4:05 - Alex Lleo

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Alex Lleo’s Debut “Bedroom Door” Is a Raw, Soul-Stirring Goodbye

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com