Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Leisure Society

This luscious slice of orchestral folk music is the perfect score for Spring awakening, irises and orchids blooming from the banjos and glockenspiels that adorn its framework.
The title track, The Sleeper, seems to be the Rosetta Stone for the album, with natural lyrics of rising and falling, worms and roots and flowers overtaking the cobblestones. Singer Nick Hemming takes these themes over the course of the album and personalizes them, spinning tales of leaving and returning to hometowns, relationships failing, things dying and growing. The following track, The Last of the Melting Snow, is the standout track of the album, with its saccharine strings, which for some reason reminds me of old Disney documentaries. It is lush and gorgeous, sounds great with the windows open.
The only downfall is that this album shoots its load too quickly, the first 3 tracks are the best, and it sort of falls into a homogoneous lull that persists for most of the rest of the album. However, the lyrics and the arrangements are always interesting, the sound fleshed out with all manner of interesting instruments, like harp and strings and ukulele. It is deeply indebted to Classic Sounds, sounding in turn like vintage Simon and Garfunkel, 'Yesterday' by the Beatles, and a very optimistic take on 'Summertime Blues' by Blue Cheer on the final track, Love's Enormous Wings, which is grandiose and ends on a high note.
All in all, this album's got a lot going for it, and it stands up well to repeat examinations, always unearthing a new nugget or gem. Let it be the soundtrack to yr thawing.

The Sleeper

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