These are tough times we're living in.
Bank balances are being stretched, with prices soaring and wages remaining stagnant. Working on their new record, The Leisure Society decided that the expense would simply be worth it – and to hell with the consequences.
Working on analogue kit at KONK studios, the band then handed their new material to Abbey Road for mastering. “We wanted to make the best record we could,” Nick Hemming explains, “so despite the expense we crafted it in this way - not for money, but for the love of making it.
New album 'The Fine Art Of Hanging On' is the result. The band's fourth full length record to date, it will be released through Full Time Hobby on April 13th.
A fresh-sounding, gilded return, Clash asked Nick Hemming about the Influences which run through his new material.
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The Beach Boys - 'Cabinessence'
I developed a huge Beach Boys obsession in my early twenties, and it’s something that has probably influence everything I’ve done since. It was the late 60s albums I loved most: '20/20', 'Smiley Smile', 'Surfs Up', 'Friends' and 'Wild Honey'. 'Cabinessence' in particular made a big impression. The arrangement is incredible and I love the modular structure of the song, lots of changes of pace and style that somehow segue perfectly.
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Love - 'Alone Again Or'
If pushed to chose I’d probably say Love’s 'Forever Changes' is my favourite album of all time, there’s so much depth and inventiveness in the arrangements that I could listen to it on a permanent loop and never get bored. This song, by Bryan Maclean, is a real beauty, the trumpet solo is one of the most glorious moments in pop music.
When I started writing the title track, 'The Fine Art of Hanging On', I immediately thought it should have a little flavour of Love in there. The mariachi trumpet on our recording is a deliberate homage to Arthur Lee. I’m not sure where the whip crack idea came from though, it just seemed strangely essential as soon as I started demoing the song!
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Jim O’Rourke - 'Insignificance'
There’s something very compelling about the sound of this album. The songs are really great, but the production is sublime. I’ve referenced Insignificance so many times in the studio over the years, trying to emulate a particular drum sound or a guitar sound. It also heavily evokes that Brian Wilson anything-goes aesthetic, which always really appeals.
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Sam Prekop - 'Showrooms'
Again it’s the man Jim O’Rourke on production duties. This is an album, along with Elliot Smith’s 'XO', that first made me believe I could start writing and recording my own songs - it was a big influence in the early days.
This song was definitely a reference point for our track 'Nothing Like This'. I wanted to capture that slightly kitsch jazz-pop sound. It’s a sound that I always associate with Italian 60s porn soundtracks, people like Armando Trovaioli and Franco Micalizzi, who I also really love.
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Deerhunter - 'Memory Boy'
I was hugely impressed with 'Halcyon Digest' when it came out, it was the only thing I listened to for about six months. This was the first song I heard from it and I loved the way the arrangement was more than the sum of it’s parts, layered guitars all forming a wonderful wall of shimmering sound. It owes a lot to the Who but it still sounds fresh and new.
One of the things that excites me about Deerhunter is the way Bradford Cox experiments with vocal sounds. Before we recorded our new album I spent hours reading interviews to try and find out how he does it, he insists he just uses cheap microphones, which I strongly suspect is bullshit, but you can’t blame him for wanting to protect his studio secrets can you!
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'The Fine Art Of Letting Go' will be released on April 13th. Check out The Leisure Society at the following shows:
13 Bristol Colston Hall Lantern
14 Oxford O2 Academy 2
15 London Islington Assembly Hall
16 Cambridge Junction 2
17 Birmingham Rainbow
18 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
20 Manchester Deaf Institute
22 Glasgow Oran Mor
23 Newcastle The Cluny
24 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
25 Norwich Arts Centre
27 Brighton Komedia