Man, this Lonesome Leash record is something special. It’s essentially a one-man-band, with Walt McClements (who you may know from being a band member of Hooray for the Riff Raff and Dark Dark Dark) pulling everything-duty, especially on both drums and accordion (both simultaneously, even live! It’s amazing). But he’s no sideshow act/street busker: this guy makes gorgeous, dynamic music full of depth, passion, big thoughts and big feelings. Best way I can situate it musically is right in the middle of Beirut and Future Islands. It’s really beautiful and you need to hear it ASAP!!
Mind Rider Records
Lonesome Leash is the solo project of Walt McClements, an accordionist and multi-instrumentalist known for his previous work in Dark Dark Dark and Hurray for the Riff Raff. Using a sparse palette of accordion, drums and voice, McClements crafts stark yet complex songs, nervous and triumphant hymns to the restless. Despite being anchored by the often anachronistic accordion, the music ends up having less to do with contemporary purveyors of old world idioms, and more to do with an alternate history—one where angular accordion lines take prominence over the guitar in a nervy and strangely cinematic post-punk tradition.
Precious Futures is the follow up to 2013’s debut I am no captain, and is Lonesome Leash’s first release on fellow Dark Dark Dark member Nona Marie Invie’s Mind Rider Records. Where previous Lonesome Leash recordings explored layers of lush feedback and textural accordion tones, Precious Futures strips the songs to their sinew, offering an approximation of the project’s “one-man-band” live approach: terse drums syncopated with accordion and distinctive, roiling vocals. This is McClements at his most exposed, and what these songs lack in embellishment, they gain in impact.
“Sometimes bridges burn themselves/no flint, no fuel, no careless match/you just feel the flames and you don’t turn back” is the album’s opening line, and it’s a fitting introduction to a song cycle that primarily deals with motion. Most of the album was written in a two-year period of nearly continuous tour, a time of travel which served as the transition between McClements leaving his longtime home New Orleans and settling in Los Angeles. Precious Futures is comprised of fragmented stories, but they are fragments of one narrative, where momentum, love, and lust serve as stand-ins for the feeling of home. It is a record that chronicles movement and the thrill of the affair, but also explores the drives beneath those things, all with a wry wit that is so characteristic of McClements’ storytelling. The end result is at once romantic, neurotic, and ultimately gratifying.
RIYL: Beirut, Dark Dark Dark, Future Islands, Neutral Milk Hotel, Jason Webley, Jherek Bischoff
Start With: 4, 1, 2 FCC CLEAN
Contact me for a download link if you’re a radio rep!