BEST NEW INDIE: KIRAN LEONARD - LIVING WITH YOUR AILMENTS
As the calendar drifts into June, we eagerly await what new musical splendors await us for the rest of the year. Winding down the season of spring, We Are: The Guard journeys across the pond to Manchester, England for Kiran Leonard’s newest release, "Living With Your Ailments."
KIRAN LEONARD - LIVING WITH YOUR AILMENTS
Kiran Leonard is not one for brief two-minutes songs, vis-à-vis Best Coast. "Living With Your Ailments," a track off his upcoming album, Derevaun Seraun, is nearly seven-and-a-half-minutes long worth of piano and strings working in tandem to paint a landscape for Leonard’s vocals to scurry along, pressing the narrative to the final terminus. The first thing that leaps out at those familiar with Leonard is that this track is vast different from his prior music, but it ends up being a welcome change that is likely to be a temporary veer from his typical work. Gone are the poppy-pleasures of Pink Fruit. What remains is loaded with classical appeal done with modern-day flair.
What is striking about his current musical direction is how much it reminds me of one of my favorites, Regina Spektor during her Begin to Hope phase over a decade ago. After listening to "Living With Your Ailments," I began watching “500 Days of Summer” imagining how it would fit in with Spektor’s songs, as well as other tracks featured on the coming-of-age romantic comedy. Like the film, there is a slight moment of melodrama and mild tragedy, but the piano and strings subvert any existing and lingering unpleasantness. There is light at the end of the seven-minutes, in which Leonard delivers, admirably.