Thursday, May 8, 2014

Leverage Models share new video at Paste; Debut LP ft. Sharon Van Etten out now via Hometapes.

8.2 - Pitchfork
"...a propulsive but ponderous 10-track wonder that hits all of the pleasure centers—that is, you will dance and sing—while offering a supple-enough sound to become something of a headphone symphony. ...recalls the sprawl of Neu! abuts a span of seductive Prince-like winks. You could spend a month mapping the parts written into these three-minute tunes and still find something new on the next listen..."
- Grayson Haver Currin, Pitchfork

In the wake of critical acclaim and tours with Son Lux and Moscow's Pompeya, Leverage Models have dispatched a new visual transmission for "Night Falls on the General Assembly."

In the words of band leader Shannon Fields: 
"The vignettes in the song all pivot around this central anxiety, that is a fear of mob logic. Specifically male, specifically young. Alex took these ideas  – and inspiration from Peter Ravn's cover art – and drew a line between the practiced, self-assured dominating gaze of a mock CEO in a MerrilLynch commercial and the narrative ambiguities in Peter's paintings that make those characters haunting, sad, and funny."

I'll shove the other kids out
then we can dance down the hall with you acting like a reeling kite just off the floor    
and you could see for miles into the noumenal vaults
and through your uncle' s stolen car -- it's so phenomenal the way that you move
and i have not moved at all
except to beat him down.     

Then we saw (oh, my god) two shapes fall down as one.
I jumped,
ran for the smaller one,
found out love can be a baseball bat.
By the jaw you had drawn one man out to this mob   

And somebody's gonna pay for all the carnage this caused
for the other "us",
holed up.
This is just another way forward
Say something honest when they tie you up.

Plied out of this crowd of ill-fashioned, imposing friends we un-fashioned our songs.
Here, where they rep for a null way of knowing, let's dance ourselves stupid
and smile

If you stay on this no-hope
I will know (disappeared after all):
    i. no light alights upon another one
    ii. no sun out on the fence-line
    iii. no fun
    iv. flames on the skyline (if that's a skyline)
    v. it's fun to disappear

(overdrawn and shamed because you don't know how this goes).  

Fall saw the release of Leverage Models’ self-titled album, the full-length debut of Shannon Fields’ new band, on Hometapes (Pattern Is Movement, Celestial Shore, Bear in Heaven, Megafaun, Landlady, and more). With thirteen performers in addition to Fields, Leverage Models is a monument to Fields' songwriting, wizard-like direction, and commitment to collaboration. Among the lengthy roll call of contributors is Sharon Van Etten, lending her voice to “Sweep.” The full list of performers is available below, including members of LCD Soundsystem, Yeasayer, and more. 

5/22 - Audiofemme Presents @ Cameo, Brooklyn, NY - w/ Weeknight, Long Arms
6/14 - Northside Festival, Deli Magazine showcase @ Spike Hill - w/ Nicholas Nicholas, Zula, Oddlogic, Wolvves, more

"This is world beats turned into booty-shaking dirtiness, topped off with Shannon Fields’ roof-shaking falsetto" - Deli Magazine [Artists on the Rise]
"head-scratchingly brilliant" - Brad Laner (Medicine, M83), Dangerous Minds
"seriously layered, ornate, and frenzied electronic transmissions…excellent" - The Onion A.V. Club
"Rapturous bursts of bright horn-fuelled funk-pop…Great" - The Guardian UK [New Band of the Day feature]
"A lullaby sung by the sea with the subdued hysterics of of Scritti Politti…will drench you in unspecified yearning & leave you reaching for the repeat button" - Gill Mills, New Music Matters (UK)

Shannon Fields was raised on the undersides of both rural and urban Missouri. Born to Pentecostal evangelists, he spent as much time singing in improvisatory tongues during marathon worship services as he did catching crawdads and chiggers in the creek behind his house and getting the shit beat out of him by mulletted 6th graders with equally troubled home lives. Following this, time spent in a residential youth treatment center in Kansas, and a brief romance with academia (linguistics and philosophy of mind) in Great Britain, he moved to Brooklyn and started his own cult in the form of the Brooklyn electro-acoustic, freely improvising folk collective, Stars Like Fleas (gaining some notice for their own confusing, ecstatic song services, and playing to large confused crowds at art museums around the globe before spectacularly imploding). In addition to writing corporate research papers and performing technology risk management audits by day, Shannon worked as a producer for others, curated events, created sound installations, composed ramshackle outsider musical works for large untrained choirs, and toured with the Fleas and as a member of Helado Negro.

In the wake of Stars Like Fleas' hiatus, Shannon left Brooklyn, took up residence on a small farm in upstate New York where he learned how to take care of horses and began work on what would become Leverage Models, figuring he could maybe broker a peace between himself and pure entertainment, pleasure, health.
Shannon's songs follow deeply broken human and animal characters set in miniature and lost countries where corporate jargon, self-loathing, fear of color, and a handful of relationships based on sexual and financial subjugation grow limbs and faces and walk around glowing in hay-lofts at night. Leverage Models music, however, privileges immediate pleasure, dancing, and unhinged joy. A live band with large Latin percussion ensemble, horns, synthesizers, drum machines, and guitars has been tearing themselves to pieces this spring in NYC in service of adrenalin and joy.
Over the past year or so, Leverage Models made two exploratory cassettes, chasing unloved sounds and testing out musical identities. The record features several life rafts full of noteworthy contributors from across the musical map and makes new sculptures out of the the warped shadows of bands like ABC, Scritti Politti, The Dream, Hall & Oates, This Heat, The Associates, Happy Mondays, Japan, Usher, Robert Wyatt, A Certain Ratio, Material, Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam, Durutti Column, Throbbing Gristle, The Glove, etc.

Leverage Models Leverage Models cover art by Peter Ravn

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