Turning a launch party into a pizza party just might be all you need to know to be sold on Vancouver’s Leisure Club—a band that lives up to its name with both a great sense of occasion and music made for hanging out and taking it easy. But don’t let the soothing, relaxed vibe of the band’s first release fool you.
Formed in 2016, Leisure Club has raced into its debut album after spending the past year and a bit churning out singles. Some of those have been gathered into their self-titled release, compiling some of their most infectious pop sounds.
Bounding between peppiness and moody lyrics like “You don’t want me in your life,” Leisure Club’s boisterous sound serves up nostalgia for 80s summer movies (and actual summer). Break ups and longing are masked by old-timey vocals and shimmy-worthy beats as the quintet dances through it all.
Self-aware “TV Shows” gives a nod to the connection, even as the band sees through the façade of a picture-perfect good time on “Hold On.” But those looming undertones can slip passed you on the first play as you sway along to “Waiting,” an easy listen that tiptoes close to the edge as lead Jamie Smail aptly begs, “Do I have to spell it out?” over and over.
Urgency slips into “Entertainment” and drives the second half of the ten-track collection. Leisure Club is ultimately questioning our modern surroundings, and every bit of pop pulling at our usual associations comes with its own explorations.
But with its cozy summer feel and laid-back ethos, Leisure Club tries to make all those questions slightly less intimidating—even as it subtly, through well-earned repeat listens, insists that you keep asking.
Top Tracks: “Hold On”; “Ask Twice”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)