She’s got two Gameboys and a microphone.

A girl after my own heart, Leeni is a 26-year old who spent much of her childhood firmly planted in front of the Nintendo. Influenced by 8-bit artists on MySpace as well as classics like The Beatles and Elias Smith, Leeni’s music is an enjoyable blend of the Gameboy’s familiar square synth sounds, her own voice and instrumentation, and clever songwriting. With youthful, harmonic vocals layered on top of those unmistakable 8-bit bleeps and blops, Leeni’s music sounds rather like your Gameboy had a lovechild with that nerdy chorus girl you knew back in high school.

I discovered Leeni’s music quite by accident, browsing through random J-Pop selections on Spotify, and somehow link-hopping my way to Leeni’s page via “Related Artists” links. (By the way, if you’re not using Spotify yet, you’re missing out on a truly amazing music experience. Perhaps I’ll write a separate post about it soon. You can read my thoughts on Spotify here.) “Headphones On Your Heart” was the first track I listened to, and immediately fell in love.

Have a listen:

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Leeni already has two albums under her belt, each with a distinct sound. The first, 8 Bit Heart, is like an upbeat, happy-go-lucky romp through a bright, colorful Nintendo game. Her second album, Labyrinth is much darker and more downtempo (think Super Mario Bros. underworld or Legend of Zelda dungeon music) but still an enjoyable listen.

Sure, there’s lots of other 8-bit artists out there, but Leeni has a unique musical and lyrical style all her own. Most of the 8-bit music I’ve heard ranges from juvenile to obnoxious; fun but forgettable retro-tunes that pander to your Nintendostalgia. Leeni is different and definitely worth a listen.