LEISURE Paves a Yellow Brick Road to Success with a ‘TWISTER’ of Psychedelic R&B [Q&A]

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Photo Credit: Nicole Brannen

Dorothy said it first… there’s no place like home! Right out of their native New Zealand is LEISURE’s new TWISTER of psychedelic R&B goodness delivered by way of their clean-cut second full-length album. Since 2015, LEISURE has been paving their own yellow brick road to success while constantly refining their atmospheric melodies and experimenting with boundless instrumentals. Now, LEISURE is proud to present an exquisite record that’ll take you on a euphoric journey straight to the eye of the musical storm with TWISTER.

To seriously commit all of their time and energy to TWISTER, LEISURE took it upon themselves to rent out numerous Airbnb apartments in various parts of New Zealand. In this time, the humble quintet stepped out of their comfort zones to experiment with different musical styles, as we can hear in the blissfully edgy “The Hype” and the jazz undertones of “Tied Up.” TWISTER may focus on the frustrations of modern culture, but LEISURE conveys these anxieties through the smoothest choruses and hooks that are oh-so charming.

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Of the eclectic 14-track collection, “Too Much Of A Good Thing” and “On My Mind” are just two feel good songs that remind us of exactly how LEISURE always exceeds our expectations when it comes to wavy synths. On the other hand, “Someone Like You” and “Easy Way Out” both feature throbbing bass lines that are just too good to pass up. And alas, TWISTER literally ends on a high note with the gorgeous “Alone Together,” a stand out track that showcases LEISURE’s inescapable falsetto paired with a sexy saxophone number.

On TWISTER, LEISURE reflected,

“We make our favorite things when we become creatively unconscious and surrender to the moment. ‘TWISTER’ was a good opportunity for us to explore ideas to their deepest level. We took turns as the album took shape to fall in love with each song and the process of how each one was made. To land with an eclectic collection of 14 songs; each swirling with their own mood and color has been an immersive experience for us.”

Bask in LEISURE’s timeless psychedelic R&B with TWISTER below:

+ Revisit our exclusive premiere of their first-ever studio session here.

To celebrate the release of their highly anticipated new music, we recently chatted with LEISURE about their eclectic soundscape, their creative process, and of course, TWISTER.

OTW: Before forming LEISURE, all of you were involved in music in some way or another. How did you all become interested in music to begin with?

LEISURE: In the early days, the music I liked aligned with other interests like skating and surfing. It was a lifestyle and an identity in the formative years. The more I listened, the more I became interested in instruments, performing, and seeing where being part of a band could take you. We all had different entry points to doing what we do though. It’s safe to say we all got the music bug early and it’s become a major part of our lives. 

OTW: Your eclectic soundscape obviously doesn’t fit neatly under one genre. How would you describe your sound in five words?

LEISURE: Thank you! We’re lucky to all have varied influences which give us extra pools of sound to draw from. In only five words I think I might just have to say “a good mix of everything.”

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OTW: TWISTER opens with “Feeling Free,” which impeccably showcases your musical dynamism. What do you guys do to help yourselves feel relaxed and liberated on a daily basis? 

LEISURE: We all have different ways of feeling free though switching off the main frame and enjoying our beautiful country with family and friends is consistent. 

OTW: “Money” and “Easy Way Out” are already two fan favorites off the record, but do you guys have any tracks in particular that resonate with you more than others? Which songs are you most proud of on TWISTER? 

LEISURE: “Ultra Violet Light” sums up what I like about LEISURE and is my favorite song on the album. I’m proud of all the songs though. “Feeling Free,” “Man,” and “Too Much Of A Good Thing” are songs where we starting going somewhere new and managed to make it work which was rewarding. 

OTW: Can you describe your creative process for this record? How does it differ from your debut self-titled album?

LEISURE: The process was essentially the same, though this time we had an album out and sound which had begun to define us so we all acknowledged we wanted to move forward and push things rather than recreate. Playing live influenced our sound as well as growing older and experiencing different things and allowing a wider variety of subjects and moods to have a place on a LEISURE record.

OTW: TWISTER immerses listeners in not only a plethora of sonic blessings, but the fantastic record also uses lyricism to convey certain emotions that listeners can experience for themselves. How are you guys feeling now that TWISTER is out for the entire world to indulge in?

LEISURE: As soon as a record is released, it takes on its own life and slowly reveals itself in a different way. I enjoy the memories of where we were and how we wrote the songs. I enjoy the interpretation on songs and feedback from fans. I feel lucky to be part of this group and usually after we release something it doesn’t take long for me to start planning the next project.

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OTW: You guys will be touring in your native New Zealand and Australia pretty soon… but when are you coming to play for us in the states?!

LEISURE: We’ve been getting hounded to come to the states and we have a lot of friends in LA. We don’t have anything booked though it’s 100 percent in the cards.  

OTW: You have three sentences to tell our readers why they should stream TWISTER - go!

LEISURE: As devout fans of music, we know that it’s often more special to find something for yourself, on your own time. There’s no rush; we’re not going anywhere.

OTW: Who are your Ones To Watch?

LEISURE: BENEE, IMUGI, and Lord Echo.

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