Posts Tagged ‘Western Culture’

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Despite having released two records prior, Kiran Leonard’s latest album Western Culture is his first professional studio album and his first with the backing of his live band. Though assisted by some additional players, Leonard contributes the lion’s share of instrumentals with everything from guitar, organ, piano, violin and vocals to sandpaper, goat bells and frying pan. After releasing a five-movement concept album last year, Western Culture is similarly elegant, but far more expansive and pop-oriented. Leonard’s brand of baroque pop-tinged rock is both astoundingly pretty and wildly vigorous. Tracks like “The Universe Out There Knows No Smile” and “Working People” sound almost too highbrow and meticulously composed to be considered rock, yet too dogged to be classified as classical or baroque-pop. Western Culture isn’t just a gorgeous album of nuance, it’s also laced with musings on the recurring problems plaguing the populace like the lack of communication and feelings of alienation.

Unreflective Life is taken from Kiran Leonard’s forthcoming new album WESTERN CULTURE, out on Moshi Moshi Records on 19th October

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For an artist who’s released so much, it’s easy to forget Kiran Leonard is just still 22 year’s old. The Saddleworth-born musician already has an enviable back catalogue, with two home recorded albums and 2017’s ambitious literate concept album, Dervaun Seraun. Kiran’s latest album, Western Culture out next month, is also his first to be recorded in a professional studio, and is a record Kiran describes as, “both more accessible and more peculiar than my other records”, which Kiran Leonard fans will know makes for something really quite peculiar!

Ahead of the release, this week Kiran has shared the video to the latest single from the record, “Unreflective Life”, notable not least for what Kiran describes as, “a nice Bon Jovi solo at the end”. Lyrically as ambitious as always, Kiran suggests the track is what he sees as a total misunderstanding of how we use the internet, “the internet is not about total self-absorption, or attracting users to look in our direction,” says Kiran, “it is a complete paralysis, a disarticulation of the self which is caused by the act of looking outwards and being subsumed by the vastness of the violence we witness”. Musically, there’s a focus and a drive here, perhaps the result of recording with his live band for the first time. As always the track ebbs and flows, clattering from visceral crescendos to lush, intense periods of calm, and that guitar solo really is quite something! Kiran Leonard remains one of the most intriguing artists this planet has to offer, as challenging, rewarding and boundary pushing as ever, the constant re-invention of Kiran Leonard is a wonderful thing to behold.

Western Culture is out November 9th via Moshi Moshi Records.

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He’s already achieved so much that it can be hard to remember Kiran Leonard is still only 22-years-old. The Saddleworth songwriter released his debut album back in 2014, took a giant leap forward with 2016’s Grapefruit and then proceeded to write,“a concept album in five movements inspired by five pieces of literature and arranged for piano, strings and voice”,a move as inspired as it was ludicrously ambitious. This week Kiran has shared details of his upcoming third album, Western Culture, as well as sharing the first single from it, Paralysed Force.

Kiran Leonard: “”Paralysed Force” is about how insecurities you should settle within yourself often get transplanted onto other people you know. Projecting the question towards another allows you to shirk responsibility for your own well being, but all this does is suspend the issue at hand, and prolong an inevitable falling back. “There’s also a sort of compulsiveness, a wanting to be suspended, that’s involved in it all, because sometimes it feels good not to have to think about yourself. I suppose the song’s about being caught between those two points — basically, that even if you know you’re being irresponsible (and possibly daft), there’s still a desire to give yourself up.”

Western Culture is the first album Kiran has ever recorded in a professional studio, as well as his first recorded with the involvement of his live band, and he has suggested it is, “both more accessible and more peculiar than my other records” – on the evidence of Paralysed Force you can certainly see where he’s coming from. Discussing the track, in his usual inimitable fashion, Kiran has suggested it is about, “how insecurities you should settle within yourself often get transplanted onto other people you know.” Musically it is as close as Kiran ever gets to a straight up indie-rock song, it’s still angular and awkward sure, however in the melodies and rhythms at times there’s an unquestionably hooky and approachable quality. With a title like Western Culture, it’s inevitable that this is a record that glances out to society, Kiran has suggested it looks to the power of words to shape the discourse, how, in his own carefully chosen comment, “the words we use have a funny sort of position, both as a feeble opponent to real-life violence, and as the critical foundation for that very violence.” With our own words, we’d strongly urge you to explore the fascinating work of quite possibly this countries most intriguing new musical voice.

Kiran Leonard releases brand new album Western Culture on 19th October 2018 on Moshi Moshi Records: