Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO are they?
Leisure are a Hackney-based four-piece consisting of Beth Horak-Hallett, Nick Taylor, Anya Pearson and Jon Mason.
“We all have quite an eclectic background. Our singer Beth, our bassist Nick and I all met in Leeds a few years ago where we started a wonderfully ramshackle indie folk ska kind of band” recalls Anya, guitarist and keyboard player. “Beth played trombone, I played the spoons, we wrote songs about stray racehorses, it was all great fun. But when we moved to London, we wanted to start something fresh. We met our drummer Jon Mason, who used to play with Romare in another project, and formed Leisure in 2013. Inspired by acts like Banks, Jessie Ware, Baths and Tune-Yards, we decided to strip down musically, play RnB with a live band and channel more emotion into our sound. When we met our producer Scrimshire (of indie label Wah Wah 45s ), he totally got what we were going for.”
WHAT are they singing about?
“Two words. Zygmunt Bauman! What a legend” tells us Anya. “Jon and Beth write lyrics too, and I can’t speak for them, but quite a lot of the songs I write for Leisure are (perhaps this is weird) emotional interpretations of the Polish sociologist’s themes: Peace is about the fluidity of people’s relationships with one another; our debut single Tourist reflects my experiences of tourism and strangeness; Mexico is about how modern things like Skype let us connect in new ways over time and space. Leisure’s new release Flight is inspired by Ziggy B’s (as I fondly call him) writing on immigration, it tells the story of someone who leaves home.”
WHERE are they from?
“Jon’s from St Albarns, Beth is from Hertford, and Nick and I grew up in London – Camden and Hackney respectively” tells us Anya. “We’re influenced by fellow bands in East London like Kwes, Micachu and Only Girl. But also, London has seen a lot of social changes over a short amount of time, which I guess brings newness but can feel quite destructive and unequal. Having said that, the music that springs out of that can be really exciting, for example the energy coming out of the new wave of riot grrrl bands like Colour Me Wednesday and the Tuts we’re finding really inspiring at the moment, we’ll see how it filters through into Leisure!”
“Leisure comes out of the chorus of our track Peace – the lyric ‘All I want is peace and leisure’. It stuck with us because it’s kind of smooth sounding, kind of cheesy (which we love) and brings good vibes. We’re all about the good vibes.”
WHEN can I see them live?
You can catch the band play at the ‘Falling’ EP launch at the Shacklewell Arms on 25 May. “Jon has made some beautiful risograph prints of the EP artwork so it’s worth checking them out too. Looking towards summer we expect we’ll play a few festivals.”
Watch the animated music video by Amy Wolfe for new single Flight