The Leisure Society: The Fine Art of Hanging On review – chunky guitars meet loneliness and mortality

(Full Time Hobby)

In the place where Ennio Morricone-style whipcracks and Jethro Tull flute lines meet, you’ll find the Leisure Society’s fourth album. This indie-folk band, fronted by guitarist Nick Hemming and piano-playing co-vocalist Christian Hardy, have inadvertently made a concept album inspired by the death of one of Hemming’s friends from cancer. While an upbeat piano hook anchors Nothing Like This and I’m a Setting Sun relies on chunky guitar riffs and peppy horns, the lyrics deal primarily with loneliness and mortality: on Outside In, Hemming sings, “In your heart you know you’re worth/More than you were ever told,” over a paradoxically chirpy melody. The Fine Art of Hanging On is another capably written set, but turns its back on the band’s pared-down folk roots in favour of baroque-pop arrangements that reach for the heights of Rufus Wainwright and Illinoise-era Sufjan Stevens, but don’t always hit the mark.


Tshepo Mokoena

The GuardianTramp

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Have a listen to the fourth record from the indie-folk band and let us know what you think


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