The Leisure Society
The Fine Art of Hanging On

Released: 13th April 2015
Label: Full Time Hobby

‘The Fine Art of Hanging On’ is the fourth album from The Leisure Society, a band who have gained critical acclaim from the likes of Ray Davies and Guy Garvey and who have picked up an Ivor Novello Award along the way. However until now they have not had their lucky break in terms of getting a number one record, which is what all of these great albums deserve.

The band have had a slight change of direction with ‘The Fine Art of Hanging On’. Thankfully no radical change, they have not gone all Kid A on us, but they have added different arrangements leaving behind some of that traditional folk sound of the previous albums to more chamber pop which sits comfortably with Divine Comedy and Sufjan Stevens at times.

There are so many standout moments on this album including the opening and title track ‘The Fine Art of Hanging On’. The sparse opening makes you feel like you are alone in this world before it builds in a beautiful way like a new day is dawning and anything is possible. ‘Nothing Like This’ is a standout purely for its soulful vibe. ‘Tall Black Cabins’ with its combination of piano, strings and endearing vocals all combine to leave us listeners in a trance like state, and ‘The Undefeated Ego’ is simply beautiful from start to finish.

As we reach the midpoint of the album the highlights continue. ‘I’m a Setting Sun’ glides from a glam rock style with a horn section to gentle vocals and melodies showing the talent this band has in arranging songs. The hypnotic acoustic melody, haunting vocals and delicate percussion ensure ‘You’ll Never Know when It Breaks’ is a song you will not forget in a hurry. ‘As the Shadows Form’ is the perfect ending reminding us that the inspiration for this great album was a friend of Nick’s who was sadly dying from cancer as the album was being written “I know this has to end, I know that this must be the end”.

Once again The Leisure Society have given us another great record, please make sure it does not pass you by.

Steve Tay

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