Review: The Leisure Society – The Sleeper

Towards the end of 2008 I was informed about a seasonally-themed song called ‘The Last Of The Melting Snow’ by The Leisure Society. I checked it out and immediately fell for the vulnerability and warmth of this lovely ditty, which reaffirmed my belief that it really is possible to make a great Christmas record. The good news is that this and many other fine tunes are assembled on The Leisure Society’s debut record.

In keeping with the single, ‘The Sleeper’ is a warm, optimistic set of songs. Doubtless the externally sunny ‘Save It For Someone Who Cares’ and ‘A Fighting Chance’ will win similar admirers too but that only tells half the story. For despite its whimsical feel there’s more depth to this album than initially seems apparent. ‘A Short Weekend Begins With Longing’ may rattle along on a countrified undertow but the song has melancholic depths to befit its title. ‘We Were Wasted’ is set to mournful strings seemingly borrowed from ‘River Man’-era Nick Drake, ‘Are We Happy?’ possesses a wonderful, doleful melody beneath the deadpan vocals and the chorus to ‘A Matter Of Time’ is genuinely uplifting.

Fascinatingly, former members of The Leisure Society include film maker Shane Meadows and actor Paddy Considine but whilst they have gone on to achieve to success in the cinema, fellow original member Nick Hemming has now submitted evidence that he and his bandmates are just as talented in their own field.

Web Sites:
The Leisure Society MySpace
Willkommen Records Label and Shop Site

Further Listening:
Belle And Sebastian, Nick Drake

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