CURRENTLY LISTENING: Vacant Page by Leapling

Brooklyn’s Leapling broke my month-long period of aggro music with their brand of experimental pop that at times borders on bossa nova lounge and more often revisits psychedelic rock of the ’60s. I’m not going to over-analyze this record because, truth is, I hear so many different sounds and influences. And it’s best if you just hear them for yourself. I will point out two tracks that have really captured my attention, though, and they both offer different experiences. “Crooked” captures what’s fun about this band with its bouncy, on-point rhythms, sparse funky guitar work and smooth, melodic vocals. It makes me want to stop what I’m doing and go for a really long introspective walk or start drawing an elaborate landscape—it’s a song that just envelops you and wants to take you places. “Retrograde”, the softest on the album, is utterly perfect. It features light & gauzy pop guitars surrounded by a bright orchestral arrangement, think: Jon Brion’s soundtrack work but with added mystery—all the melodies are pretty enough to lull you to sleep without ever becoming ordinary. Through rhythm, arrangement, even instrument choice, Leapling take more chances here than some of their ho-hum contemporaries, which is I guess why I dig this record so much. It might not be as loud as the post-punk I love to listen to, but they’re just as adventurous. This is one admirable and memorable release.

Check it & buy it:

Leapling will also be performing tonight at The Palisades in Brooklyn with Pile, Solids & Radiator King. See you there.

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