ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Very little can be found online about the band Leisure. We know that band members include Jed Rouhana, Sam Hamad, and Chris Link. We know that these guys grew up in the Boston area and have played together since high school, not necessarily on the project now known as Leisure. In late July of this year they released a video trailer for their upcoming debut album Plastic Soul and since then they’ve released a three song EP made up of songs to appear on the yet-to-be released-date-unknown album. They recently opened up for Brooklyn band We Are Augustines in Boston and have two tour dates scheduled in the UK but not for until late Nov. and early Dec.
So you ask: How is it that a relatively unknown band, with virtually no tour planned, only a three song EP, and an album that may or may not see the light of day any time soon is bestowed upon the Artist of the Month title for October? Well, follow me.
We were introduced to Leisure‘s music when they played it live at the aforementioned show. A bunch of skinny kids got on stage to pick up their instruments. One of those kids was the lead singer who seemed like he would be so clumsy that he wouldn’t even know how to hold a microphone. You almost felt sorry for what was about to be a big embarrassment. But, then they began to play and instantly the cinderella became the belle of the ball. This spontaneous transformation that happened right before our eyes was such a true moment of magic that we were immediately hooked. These young men were playing with such great musicianship and with such an ease that demanded attention and we gladly complied. Nothing about them seemed forced, or pretentious, they weren’t showing off. It was all fun yet you could see in their faces a certain balance between focus and trance, they were being in the moment. How could one not fall for such a captivating, untainted stage presence? The set lasted less than a half hour but it was long enough to catch our attention.
A story goes that while the San Francisco band Girls played a show in Boston in 2010, the heroes of our story, Leisure, somehow got a demo to JR White. After this, Girls invited Leisure to open for their US tour. After the tour the band began working on Plastic Soul, which according to various sources can be expected sometime this Fall.
In the meantime though, the band has treated us to three tracks off the anticipated album Plastic Soul. These well-selected tracks show off Leisure‘s musical range displaying their musical aptitude and comfortability with different genres. The first track “Early Morning Skies” starts off with a simple drum beat and crepuscular, coarse guitar riff and vocals that much like early morning skies sublimely develop into a bright array of tones. What dawns is a celebration of light and airy electic guitar, synths and delicate vocals. If “Early Morning Skies” is what the rising of the sun sounds like, “Follow Me” is the sun shining at its brightest. We hear the singer exposing his imperfections, flaws, uncertainties, hesitations and pleading with his subject to be with him in spite of all of this. “I don’t think like you. And I don’t talk to other people like you but follow me…”. “Follow Me” starts off as a somber ballad that grows into a joyous dance implying a triumphant, happy ending. “Green Light” closes the EP. A slow song relying heavily on atmospheric guitar and echo to create that sound one might associate with, and I hate to draw this comparison, Coldplay when they were genuine (if ever, but we’ll discuss that on a different post).
So if you’re still asking “why is Leisure October’s Artist of the Month?” then let us put it in simpler terms: Because they’re fucking awesome so take a listen and let the music speak for itself.