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CHICAGO’S LEONUM CELEBRATE THEIR 2ND ALBUM RELEASE OF 2016 AT MARTYRS’ SATURDAY NIGHT
“It’s about moments…” Thus began the story on the crowdfunding page for Leonum‘s debut studio album. Moments of inspiration, of joy, of epiphany, of genuine connection –Leonum has made it their mission to capture these consistently and without hesitance.
Coming hot on the heels of this year’s Live @ ICON — a warm, intimate affair, blending tight harmonies, traditional folk instrumentation and the spirit and energy of a band and its fans sharing a space together — the aptly-titled Moments is a far more fully-realized affair, playing on the group’s strengths and supplementing them with additional instrumentation and just the right amount of studio sheen.
Singer/guitarist Kevin McDonough and percussionist James Potter cut their teeth together in guitar-heavy, “wall of sound” alternative bands, and while that particular influence has particular been historically downplayed in Leonum, Moments finds them stretching out in the studio and embracing their roots. Many of the songs have been featured on the group’s demos and previous releases, but by augmenting the familiar folky sound with electric guitars and a full drum set, McDonough and Potter give fans something genuinely new, while providing a foundation for violinist Hannah Watson, cellist Leyla Royale and new bassist Willie Wrinkle to elevate the arrangements to new heights. “The Tides” opens the record with a pulsing four-on-the-floor drumbeat and subdued guitars. McDonough’s vocal slides into the mix, eventually joined by Watson’s harmony and strings before blossoming into a massive, uplifting chorus. “The Adventure Here” is a jaunty, swaying singalong, buoyed by a spry acoustic guitar and hand percussion, while “Everybody I See” eases in with a gentlywarbling Rhodes, joined by a simple, percussive guitar figure that’s sure to bring a smile to any U2 fan’s face. “Never Say Goodbye,” appearing as a rhythmicallydriven folk ballad on Live @ ICON, is give a gorgeous classical-inflected piano backdrop, allowing Royale and Watson’s languid string arrangements to float over McDonough’s warm baritone.
The album closes with a trilogy of uniformly strong songs: “Southside” is a veritable anthem, with a dancey electric guitar figure and the type of melody that sticks in the head for weeks, all building to the album’s most fist-in-the-air chorus. “Talking To” features an intricate guitar line, impeccable vocal harmonies, and a dense percussive foundation, and the transition into “Bad Moon Rising” is flawless. The Creedence Clearwater Revival classic is given an ominous, minorkey treatment, the end result being eerily reflective of the menace inherent to the song’s lyrics.
Produced and engineered by Russ Miller, Moments sonically manages the rare feat of capturing the energy of a captivating band in the studio. Each instrument is given room to breathe–the space and dynamics that are key to Leonum’s signature sound are not only respected but heightened in ways that may not have been possible otherwise. To celebrate the album’s release with a return to Martyrs’ in Chicago on July 16th, Leonum would like to invite you to join them in the creation of new moments.
Get Tickets for the Show here: http://bit.ly/29xzBWn