REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

The Leisure Society Return With Most Experimental Album To Date

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

The Leisure Society are back with their new album “The Fine Art of Hanging On” and they're back with a vengeance. The Leisure Society have created a larger and experimental record with large amounts of melachony. Lead singer Nick Hemming has referred to it as “clinging onto something” being the main theme, which seems very apparent with the dark undertones of a dying friend being quite prominent throughout the album.

The album opens with title track “The Fine Art of Hanging On” and it feels like a nod to previous tune “Fight For Everyone” with it’s uptempo pace and folky undertones. The uptempo tone continues through “Nothing Like This” but the heartache comes through with a closing line of “I remember the day that you said we should wait”. You could almost miss the heartbreak because of the jolliness, but it doesn’t take Nancy Drew here to see that is the point. Not even the flute playing throughout can distract that.

Personal favorite and lyrically mind bogging is “Tall Black Cabins”, which on initial first play, it’s lyrical content could be noted to be inspired by the works of “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte. What do these black cabins represent? All these dark, metaphorical lyrics talking about the tides being waste and hanging up in tall, black cabins. Sadly, my mind may have been playing tricks with me because Hemming was quoted to have said the song’s existence came about the financial expense of local fishermen drying their nets.

The album takes a much more experimental turn as we delve into the final three tracks... “All Is Now” is quite literally, an incredible piece of art. It begins as if a Bjork song, quickly brings in a haunting guitar and piano and Hemming laments throughout the track “all is now and all is blue”. The song comes in about 6 minutes long but it’s worth the minute count and is quickly followed by “Wide Eyes At Villains”, which feels like it should be in a film trailer... especially when you hit the haunting, operatic middle eight which transforms into an outro made up of simply instruments. If that doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, you’re almost inhumane.

The Leisure Society were boosted by their folk roots... initially some of the members of the group were from Ireland and whilst there are some evident folk roots on “The Fine Art of Hanging On”, it seems the group have taken their concept album and ran with it, and what a great concept album it is. The lyrics are haunting. The vocals are Rufus Wainwright-like and the album is experimental in a great way. The album is so experimental that it literally just ends, the closing track “As The Shadows Form” doesn’t feature a beautiful orchestra ending, it simply ends with “I know this must be the end”.

To find out more about the Leisure Society click here.

To visit The Leisure Society's Facebook page click here.

Words by Daniel John Sado