Premiere: Queer Alt-Rock Band LEONE Show Their Full Hand in Sophomore EP ‘GTFOH’

LEONE © Jeff Buckholz
LEONE © Jeff Buckholz
‘GTFOH,’ on the whole, is a reclamation of an authentic sort of power: A power that Brooklyn alt-rock band LEONE was built to yield.
Stream: ‘GTFOH’ – LEONE
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‘GTFOH’ is ultimately a comment on the times that we’re living in. In a world that is constantly trying to beat us down, LEONE hopes that GTFOH will serve as a reminder to stand up for what you believe in and fight for your life.

LEONE, at its core, is a project based in evolution.

From its initial conception as lead singer/songwriter Richie Leone’s solo-artist moniker in 2021 to its manifestation now as a staple group in the Brooklyn alt-rock scene, LEONE constructs an evocative, emotional landscape rich with introspective lyricism and an electric sound. Their 2022 debut EP (thisbodyisntmine) serves as a reflection on loss with a sultry spark of metamorphosis. Within this debut lies the single “Monochrome Colors,” which effortlessly encapsulates LEONE’s cosmic potential in its multi-textured examination of grief and mourning. Unsurprisingly, listeners eagerly attached themselves to this authenticity; through this positive response, as well as an undeniable creative evolution, a new journey was forged.

GTFOH - LEONE
GTFOH – LEONE

GTFOH, LEONE’s highly anticipated sophomore EP, is the product of this odyssey. Set to release August 18th, this collection is a quintessential diary of angst, lust, grief, and self discovery. Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the EP today.

“I’ve been reflecting a lot on this album and my journey overall as an artist within the past couple of years,” Richie Leone tells Atwood Magazine. “With the first EP, there was a lot of sadness and depression going on and I really needed to heal MYSELF first and foremost. This second definitely comes from a different perspective and has a little more bite back. I’m sitting in my power in a different way and I’m the most driven I’ve ever been. I hope to continue to heal, grow, and inspire others to do the same.”

LEONE © Jeff Buckholz
LEONE © Jeff Buckholz



The collection opens with “Kiss ‘Em Bye Bye,” a bright, sharply strung and unapologetically crisp entrance to their dynamic EP.

With the last EP (thisbodyisntmine), we allowed ourselves to really go there and feel all that pain, while with this one we’re standing up and being strong on our own,” says frontman Richie Leone.“This track is the final goodbye to a past relationship and the start of a new beginning.”

LEONE waste no time in teasing; they open with their full hand on display and dare you to question why you’d expect anything less than truth. Leone’s frustrated rasp pierces through a stunning, nostalgic composition with distinctive force and precision; despite this being a new ground for the artists, they seamlessly navigated this emotional outburst. “This was the first time that I really let myself express anger through my music,” he reflects. “When I was writing this song, I questioned if it was too harsh and pointed, but ultimately I realized that it’s important for me to be able to express all forms of grief.”

Locking all your hopes into your
Tiny little dreams
Because you think the world is just
Too big to ever see
So you push them all away
You leave them far behind
What’s the use in taking chances
In this god forsaken life
This god forsaken life

See the Sun” takes this feeling a step further, drawing on a vulnerable perspective that gives listeners a more intimate glimpse of the group’s intentions. This trails into the sultry, suggestive “Can I Call You Mine?,” which weaves a deeper examination of expectation in love and relationships.




LEONE © Jeff Buckholz
LEONE © Jeff Buckholz

Although it sounds very sexual, I am really wanting to challenge the audience to see past the controversial lyrics and to the heart of what I am actually saying, which is, ‘Respect my body. Stimulate and challenge my mind. Because THAT is ultimately what I am attracted to and what I look for in a partner.‘ If you stimulate my mind and respect me, you can have all of me.” 

I Wanna Be” brings another stunning visual component and further cements the group’s ties to Brooklyn, as its narrative unfolds in the borough’s iconic House of Yes. Music video director Beth Fletcher constructs a hypnotizing tango of suggestion and deceit that serves as a nod to Leone’s poker-loving father:




The titular track is perhaps the most sonically striking, likely due to its poignant examination of the artistic industry as a whole.

“’GTFOH’ is my first time speaking about my frustration with the establishment and the world we are living in. How we turn on each other at the flip of a dime, and are so easily manipulated by the media and people in power.”

That being said, LEONE acknowledge that this is a small component of a much larger issue, and invites the audience to develop their own interpretations and responses.

“There are so many issues and subliminal messages that are being talked about,” Leone continues, “and I really want the audience to come up with their own opinion and story.”

Just another day playing stupid games
Calling wrong from right
I tell you that it’s weird living in a world
Painted black and white
And everyone’s the same, calling people names
Hoping that you hear
I just think it’s cute that you sang a different tune
Last year
When everyone is looking at you
Telling you to speak your truth
Unless it’s a different point of view
Getthef***outtahere




LEONE © Jeff Buckholz
LEONE © Jeff Buckholz

The EP ends with “Today, I Miss You.,” an intimate return to previously explored themes of grief and mourning. The song nearly transports you into an intimate Brooklyn venue and the echoes of Leone’s longing bleed into a steady escalation of longing. It was written on the fifth anniversary of Leone’s father’s passing.

I had woken up (not realizing what day it was) and decided to put on his t-shirt to walk around Brooklyn by myself. I was sad but I didn’t know why,” Leone recalls. “I spent the whole day walking around aimlessly, missing him. It wasn’t until much later that I realized it was his birthday (which was 4 days before his passing). I came upstairs for a moment and sat with my guitar, and “Today, I Miss You” poured out of me. It is by far the most emotional song I have written to date.”

The song leaves you sore but satisfied, capping the EP with a symphony of screams and an earned release. 

The heart of the music carries long after the composition ends, and perhaps this is LEONE’s greatest strength.

GTFOH, on the whole, is a reclamation of an authentic sort of power: A power that LEONE was built to yield.

Experience the full record below via our exclusive stream, and peek inside LEONE’s GTFOH EP with Atwood Magazine as Richie Leone takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his band’s sophomore EP!

GTFOH is out everywhere August 18th, 2023.

Today, I miss you
I’m walking in your t-shirt
Just to hold you
I’m trying to remember
A smell that’s gone
One that’s washed out
And shouting to move on
Well I’m not moving on
‘Cause I don’t want to
Be here without you on my own
I wish there was a way to let you know
It’s hard not seeing you anymore, anymore
Today, I miss you
– “Today, I Miss You.,” LEONE

— —

:: stream/purchase GTFOH here ::
:: connect with LEONE here ::
Stream: ‘GTFOH’ – LEONE
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:: Inside GTFOH ::

GTFOH - LEONE

— —

“Kiss ‘Em Bye Bye”

“Kiss ‘Em Bye Bye” kicks off GTFOH by letting the audience know that we are stepping into our own power with this new EP. With the last EP (thisbodyisntmine), we allowed ourselves to really go there and feel all that pain, while with this one we’re standing up and being strong on our own. This track is the final goodbye to a past relationship and the start of a new beginning.
“Kiss ‘Em Bye Bye” is one of a few songs on the EP that shows more of a snarky side to LEONE. This was the first time that I really let myself express anger through my music. When I was writing this song, I questioned if it was too harsh and pointed, but ultimately I realized that it’s important for me to be able to express all forms of grief, especially through my music.

“See the Sun”

“See the Sun” is not only a letter to myself but a letter to anyone that is open to listening. It’s a song about giving your all to life knowing that you will get burned, but choosing to give it all anyway. Fighting for your dreams, fighting for love, fighting for your LIFE. 

“Can I Call You Mine?”

“Can I Call You Mine?” is the first song that shows more of a sultry side to LEONE. However, even within the sexier sound, there is a deeper message and darker tone to the lyrics. 
“Treat my body right. F*** my brains; F*** my mind. Twists and turns will do you right. Strip and tease it, All in time. Can I call you mine?”
Although it sounds very sexual, I am really wanting to challenge the audience to see past the controversial lyrics and to the heart of what I am actually saying, which is, “Respect my body. Stimulate and challenge my mind. Because THAT is ultimately what I am attracted to and what I look for in a partner.” If you stimulate my mind and respect me, you can have all of me

“I Wanna Be”

The mesmerizing music video for “I Wanna Be” was brought to life by director Beth Fletcher, and unfolds within the walls of Brooklyn’s iconic House of Yes. Serving as a nod to my poker-loving father, the video revolves around a poker table, where I find myself in cahoots with one of the players.
Engaging in a dance of seduction and deceit, our aim is to cheat the game and claim all of the money at stake. This visual metaphor portrays my personal experiences of feeling betrayed and hurt in relationships, despite giving my all.
As the video reaches its climax, two undercover figures make a dramatic entrance, and in a surprising turn of events, I am knocked out and taken away while my deceptive “partner” walks off with the money.

“GTFOH”

“GTFOH” is my first time speaking about my frustration with the establishment and the world we are living in. How we turn on each other at the flip of a dime, and are so easily manipulated by the media and people in power. However, there are so many issues and subliminal messages that are being talked about and I really want the audience to come up with their own opinion & story for both of these videos.
The video starts with me finding myself beaten and tied up by someone I can’t quite see. As the video goes on I see that the enemy is in fact someone I had trusted in the past (refer to “I Wanna Be” music video which ends with a “to be continued…”). The end of “GTFOH” shows me taking back my power and walking my own path. The vocals are meant to sound like a loudspeaker. It’s my first time using my voice to relay this kind of message.”

“Today, I Miss You.”

“Today, I Miss You.” was written on the 5 year anniversary of my dad’s death. I had woken up (not realizing what day it was) and decided to put on his t-shirt to walk around Brooklyn by myself. I was sad but I didn’t know why. I spent the whole day walking around aimlessly, missing him. It wasn’t until much later that I realized it was his birthday (which was 4 days before his passing). I came upstairs for a moment and sat with my guitar, and “Today, I Miss You.” poured out of me. It is by far the most emotional song I have written to date. The song starts super quiet and continues to build until I am screaming into the void at the end.

— —

:: stream/purchase GTFOH here ::
:: connect with LEONE here ::
Stream: ‘GTFOH’ – LEONE
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GTFOH - LEONE

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