Highlights: Another Sunday Psalm, Fight For Everyone, The Sober Scent Of Paper, We Go Together
This may have nothing to do with nothing, but the name The Leisure Society is perfect for this band. Alone Aboard The Arc sounds exactly the way an album by an indie pop band called The Leisure Society should sound: laidback, summary and charming in that good old chamber pop way. Extremely hummable, too, which is the direct result of strong, thoughtful songwriting.
There is an irresistible old-fashioned edge to some of these songs, and I swear the jazzy, orchestral arrangements of languidly pretty “We Go Together” take me to the first half of the previous century. Add a brilliant vocal melody to that, and you have a song Neil Hannon would be proud of. The album is split more or less evenly between bouncy (catchy is the word) and downbeat (not to be confused with cheerless) pop tunes. As for the former, “Another Sunday Psalm” and “Fight For Everyone” offer a true barrage of quality hooks. The latter are no less consistent, and all of them, “A Softer Voice Takes Longer Hearing” and the aforementioned “We Go Together” in particular, have such perfect vibes for a late August evening that I don’t have much in terms of complaints.
Whatever this album was set out to do, it did for me. Listen to the main vocal hook of “One Man And His Fug” and tell me what you think. It’s light, its staying power may be limited, but I’ll be damned if this is not a great little pop album. Recommended.