Play On: Janet Leon Makes Solo Comeback at Melodifestivalen 2013


They might have broken up ages ago, but Swedish girl group Play‘s still getting their fair share of–uh, play. (In solo form, that is.)

Founding member Faye Hamlin for instance, now known more succinctly as Faye, has been making moody waves over the past year with her delicious brand of brooding synth-pop, including her massive “Water Against The Rocks” and the sizzling, slow-burning enticement, “Come To Me.”

And now, it’s Janet Leon‘s turn to have her moment.

After replacing Faye in the band’s line-up in 2003, Leon spent two years touring with the group, eventually parting ways after their (first) breakup. (Play’s member swaps and bust-ups make the Sugababes seem stable, by the way.)

Since then, she’s gone on to record songs for various odd brands (Build-A-Bear!) and weird soundtrack contributions (background vocals on “Change The World,” off of the Bratz album Rock Angelz–!), released a debut solo album in 2009 that performed decently in Sweden and, out of nowhere, provided her voice on Childish Gambino‘s “Fire Fly” in 2011.

Fast forward to last week: Melodifestivalen 2013, where Leon performed her fantastic new single, “Heartstrings.”

The track was penned by Fredrik Kempe (who wrote Eric Saade‘s 2011 Melodifestivalen-winning “Popular”) & Anton Hård af Segerstad, former of Le Kid. The powerhouse dance-pop anthem shows off Leon’s surprisingly major pipes, wrapped around a dramatic surge of strings, mournful piano chords and powerful blasts of club pulsations: “You pull on my heartstrings/Giving my life wings/Warm up the frozen, living again!” she cries out, complete with an unstoppably infectious “Na-na-na-na-na!” post-chorus chant.

Huge vocals, huge melodies–it’s a total Eurovision-winning jam! Unfortunately however, she didn’t make it through to the final round (RUDE), ducking out of the competition in fifth place. (Obviously, the judges were intimidated by Janet’s blue Avatar-esque alien-skin body suit, which was crafted by the winner of Swedish Project Runway, Naim Josefi.)

But there’s still a Swedish silver lining or two: Not only is “Heartstrings” now available worldwide (the global village–it’s shrinking still!), Leon’s currently back in the studio, writing and recording with superhuman songwriter Jörgen Elofsson (Britney, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis) for her sophomore solo record.

So keep an eye out for Janet Leon: With the man responsible for “(You Drive Me) Crazy” and “A Moment Like This” helming this project, there’s plenty of potential for Leon’s new record to be one of pop’s most unexpectedly amazing releases in 2013.

Now then, let’s check out that body suit in action.

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