“In the Bandcamp introduction to “Dear Lincoln”, Kiran Leonard lays out some caveats for prospective listeners: “I was 14 and uneducated, hence my mispronunciation (and pretentious namedropping) of friedrich NEECHsher. i also fucked up lEETmotif. but as far as anyone is concerned, the mistakes are obviously ironic.” His insistence upon irony is the only faintly juvenile thing about this majestic, freakishly savant-ish song; Leonard is now 17, and resides in Oldham, near Manchester, and as a resident thereof, I feel entirely justified in telling you just how dull it is here. Conversely, “Dear Lincoln” is a wondrous, sub-two-minute blast of shambolic, lo-fi piano rambling and smashed cymbal fog that would have been entirely at home on Elephant 6 in its heyday, recalling early of Montreal, Elf Power– and a Joanna Newsom-like way with words and intonation rendered in the wiry voice of a manic teenage boy.
Leonard says the song’s about mental health and the concept of tabula rasa, though it’s hard to follow the lyrics without guidance– he sings as if playing the piano from Big, sprinting up and down the keys while yelping at least one word for every note. There’s so much raw, unadulterated delight here; the way he uses a single word as the join between bars, breaking it over his knee before scurrying into another mad verse, spewing lines like, “the walls of coffin beds begin to topple with flames, scream names,” in some nameless panic. It is without a doubt the most invigorating song I’ve heard all year. One more time: he wrote it when he was 14 years old.”
Laura Snapes, Pitchfork