New Zealand's five-piece electro-funk outfit LEISURE are back! The group have been quietly chipping away on their second record, readying it for consumption, and we're bloody stoked to hear that not only is the record on its way, but they've given us another taste of what's to come too.
'Easy Way Out' is the name of their first track of 2019, and in true LEISURE fashion, they're exploring sounds that they've yet to explore and delivering an energy not like any of their previous tracks. The group are great at doing that - every track is a new adventure, and this one is something new altogether.
With a hurried, plucked guitar ticking away underneath the smooth vocals, the production in this feels sparse, but with each listen, the complexity of all of the instrumentals reveals itself. For a LEISURE track, it's definitely dark, but we're here for it.
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We last spoke with LEISURE in 2016, so to catch us up to speed on what they've been busy doing, we threw a few questions their way, and Jaden sent them on back.
Last time we spoke with you guys back in 2016, we kicked it off by asking what would a day of LEISURE consist of for you personally? I’m curious. Three years on, what would you personally consider a day of LEISURE to consist of now?
This would vary between all the guys, Josh who did the last interview mentioned sausages and I’m still not sure if he was joking or not. For me (Jaden) it would be waking up watching Manchester United, coffee in the garden, head to the coast for the afternoon, go to the studio.
We hear you’ve finished the second record. How did it feel when you realised the record was done?
It’s bitter sweet; making records is my favourite part of being in LEISURE. Though having finished it means we get to share it with our friends and the world which is exciting.
I would ask about the nature of the record, but I feel like the beauty of this project is that you continually keep us guessing. Were there any particular musical (and otherwise) influences that you feel made an impact on the way you wrote the record?
Our writing process has always been something we’ve looked forward to and enjoyed so we didn’t want to make any big changes. Though this time round we got to a point where everyone was feeling more confident, wanting to try new things and dive a little deeper. The record is more definitely dynamic than the last, though is still very much LEISURE.
It’s not going to be out for a little bit, but to tide us over, you’ve given us a taste of what’s to come with ‘Easy Way Out’. The self-empowerment in this song is really refreshing! Was writing a track with a message like this one cathartic?
Thanks! This particular song was written at the end of what had personally been a hard year in some aspects, however being away with my friends, writing music in a beautiful place put everything into perspective. The song was a note to self to keep going, be patient and remember things unfold in ways you can’t imagine at the time.
Sonically, you can really hear the impact all five of you have had on this track. Can you talk us through the process behind the creation of this track?
Djeisan, Jordan and Tom were upstairs working on a song called ‘Man’ which will be a single closer to record release, Josh and I were down stairs working on 'EWO', we were floating between rooms and the energy was high as both songs were really working. The bones of 'Easy Way Out' came quickly between Josh and I, but shaping the overall feel and production took all hands on deck. There’s a tension in the verses which is not something we’ve really had in our other music, however it’s how I was feeling going into the trip, so it came from this real place and we wanted to try make it work.
Besides the record, what does LEISURE have in store for 2019?
We’re going to continue writing and have plans to play more shows in NZ, Australia, UK and US.
Photo via Facebook
Words by CAITLIN MEDCALF