The Leisure Society - Alone Aboard The Ark
Ivor Novello winners The Leisure Society have drawn plaudits from the likes of Guy Garvey, Brian Eno and Ray Davies, the latter-mentioned Kinks frontman providing his Konk recording studio for the group's third album, Alone Aboard the Ark. As such, the album benefits from a broader musical palette than the previous two self-produced efforts. The life-affirming melodies and Christian Hardy's heartfelt vocals remain, but are now augmented with a studio playground of vintage and hi-tech equipment.
Single 'Fight for Everyone' looks set to follow 'The Last of the Melting Snow' and 'This Phantom Life' as a live favourite, delivering an infectious melody backed with handclaps, trumpets and synth arpeggios. The Supergrass-style chug of 'Tearing the Arches Down' is similarly upbeat, although there’s variety in the jazzy ‘We Go Together’, which evokes long-lost summers with a sweeping grandeur worthy of Elbow, and the Mariachi brass of ‘Forever Shall We Wait’. It’s perhaps the darkest track that’s the album’s highlight though. The sombre 'The Sober Scent of Paper' was inspired by miserablist rock's poet of choice, Sylvia Plath, and weaves lines such as “Teething cries and Wuthering Heights / Were not enough to save you” into a delicate, Mellotron-driven waltz. A fine work - to be enjoyed at your leisure.