As I’m sure you can imagine, unearthing information on a band so helpfully-named ‘Leagues’, with little more information than their Australian heritage to hand is a time-consuming project, but thankfully Hyperbole blog had that vital lead I required. They pointed their readers in the direction of their recent feature on Australia’s Triple J Unearthed, which in turn led me to their grossly under-viewed and less than two month old Myspace page, where they’ve uploaded several tracks from their debut EP, two of which seem to be widely available for free download. The band hails from Melbourne, and is made up of Hayden Calnin, Jack Prendergast, Thomas Sanderson and Josh Cain. They quote their influences as Joy Division, Bright Eyes and famed screenwriter Stanley Kubrick, though how much these influences translate is something which remains to be seen - certainly there is a mysterious, almost clockwork, 80s electronic vibe behind this otherwise guitar-based song-writing.
'Small Leaf' is possibly the strongest of the EP; its got a fairly British, urban feel about it - made perhaps more interesting by the erratic Burial-esque percussion which manipulates the tempo in a some fairly interesting ways as the song progresses. The vocals are deep and introvert, strong and decisively spoken, and this is a characteristic shared throughout the release. They label themselves progressive shoegaze, and there's also some sparse post-rock influences in there too; guitars are clean, mechanical and cold, and as the perfectly restrained percussion builds, so does the arrangement. When the songs climax, the tension in the strings bursts in to rhythmic post-punk, reminiscent perhaps of Joy Division, but awash with electronic soundscapes and powerful rhythmic application. 'Exhale' has an undeniably huge ending, set with voice manipulation, streaming soft-synthesisers and that ever-challenging drumming, a constant highlight of Leagues' music. Download 'Small Leaf' and 'Exhale' below, and stream the rest through the Myspace link.
Leagues on Myspace Music.
Leagues - Small Leaf (MP3)
Leagues - Exhale (MP3)