Monday, 23 March 2009

The Leisure Society- 'The Last Of the Melting Snow' (Wilkommen Records 14/12/08)

Mercury Prize winning lyricist extraordinaire Guy Garvey gave this his much coveted 'Single of 2008' award. A list of expectations results: gently instrumented indie- CHECK, melancholy vocals- CHECK, beauty and wonder- CHECK.

That the Leisure Society tick all of those boxes is no bad thing, however. Who doesn't want to be as grand as Elbow are? Not that this is a spot the difference game. The band play things a little simpler than Elbow, a little less bombast in their soup of music. And few will reach Garvey's way with words.

On their own merits they emerge as winners. A simple ¾ piano line is supplemented with violins and woodwind. Poise and elegance flood through the melodies, with simple lines like “America seems an awful long way to go” riddled with sadness. On the flip side 'A Short Weekend Begins With Longing' rattles along on a banjo line, breezy and, in essence, pop. It doesn't reach as high as 'The Last Of The Melting Snow', but it shows a reassuring breadth of ideas. Guy Garvey right again- CHECK.

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