Looking back at The Leisure Society, they've had an interesting past. This is, I guess, why I thought, yeah, I'll give that a listen. They've been nominated for an Ivor Novello award, are reasonably highly acclaimed and have been asked to be involved with various collaborations. This is perhaps why I expected more from this album release.
Alone Aboard The Ark does start off well. 'Another Sunday Psalm' is reminiscent of something Belle & Sebastian might come out with. It has that folk element to it, a good hook to really drag you in, and a good woodwind section. However, this is not a Belle & Sebastian album and, following this, it goes downhill.
'A Softer Voice Takes Longer Hearing' is also worth a mention here. There is no doubt that a lot of thought has gone into it, it is in itself quite beautiful and delicate. Yet it lacks that hook you really need to care about a song. It's as if you really have to put effort in. It could be on in the background and to be honest, I wouldn't even know.
Continue reading: The Leisure Society - All Aboard The Ark Album Review
'Into The Murky Water' is the second album from melodious harmonising duo (Ostensibly) The Leisure Society. It follows up, without really moving on from, their very well received debut album from 2009, 'The Sleeper'. If you liked that, and your tastes haven't changed in the ensuing two years, you'll like this. Nick Hemmings and Christian Hardy have clearly hit on a winning formula and obviously see no real need to change or develop, rather they appear content to further explore that which bore them a degree of commercial and critical success the first time around.
The album titled opener is generously drenched in conservatory strings, playful horns and glockenspiel cameos. It's Neil Hannon's Divine Comedy meets the All Seeing Eye where plinking pop meets Piorot, spats and flapper dresses. The 20's and 30's musical themes crop up throughout with the lavish orchestrated arrangements helping to build on the folk infused Chamber-Pop.
The album is at times rather disconcerting as the musical soundscape is very often juxtaposed with that of its lyrical content. The skipping beats of 'Dust On The Dance Floor' trick your sensibilities by seemingly conjuring up images of happiness whilst telling a contemplative tale of regret... "Reflecting now his life is where he sits, An epitaph falls flat between dry lips. What a great day for demise. What a long road I have walked just to die, to fall apart the way people do." More sombre anecdotal references on relationships clutching to the threads of romanticism are dealt with on the stripped back and acoustic 'Our Hearts Burn Like Damp Matches' before the tempo returns for 'You Could Keep Me Talking'.
Continue reading: The Leisure Society, Into The Murky Water Album Review