For closing in on a decade Minnesota indie popsters, The Persian Leaps, have been casting slices of jangling pop which just invite keen attention. Across numerous encounters, the St. Paul outfit has sown their particular individuality and infectious prowess upon ears and imagination, our appetite first teased through 2014 EP, Drive Drive Delay and there are no signs that the duo is losing that potent temptation as they reveal another collection of jangling ear worms in the shape of Smiling Lessons.
The Persian Leaps consists of band founding Drew Forsberg (vocals, guitars, keyboards, drum programming) and Jon Hunt (bass, vocals) and embrace the inspirations of bands such as The Smiths, Guided by Voices, and Teenage Fanclub to their captivating sound. It is a proposition which has grown release by release, a fusion of power pop, indie rock, and further flavouring reaping essences of varying decades and still magnetically flourishing as proven by the Smiling Lessons EP.
That captivation was swiftly at work as EP opener PRN strolled in with its warm breath and angular jangle around the persistently alluring tones of Forsberg. The immediate virulence of the track gripped body and attention, continuing to lift ears and spirit as it wormed under the skin while eighties indie pop hues colluded with fresh enterprise to escalate the instinctive catchiness.
There is a vein of familiarity to the band’s sound which has always added to its magnetism without defusing its individuality, the first track teasing the thought of a blend of Super Happy Fun Club, Teardrop Explodes and Barry Andrews with its successor, Chamberlain, tempting a more Teenage Fanclub meets The Barracudas comparison. As the first, the song soon had full control of attention, it’s almost clamorous wash perfectly aligned to the harmonic vocal prowess of both men and the senses clipping beats guiding its compelling saunter.
The lively sonic animation of the short but enterprisingly forceful Patience needed little time to incite ears and appetite, its old school punk tinge in hooks and riffs complemented by the infectious noisiness of its pop while Lost Cause in barely a few seconds longer immediately after casted its own virulent manipulation on eager attention and new wave pop ready appetite. Both songs stamped their infectious authority on body and pleasure with open individuality, the second and the band’s recently released new single a compelling and untamed pop song; one akin to a blend of The Bluebells and Screaming Blue Messiahs and inescapably irresistible.
Next up, Your Loss has a more reserved gait but no restraint in its catchiness as its emotive balladry wraps warm arms around attention. The enthralling clang of its melodic body adds a slightly but gripping volatility to the serenade, Mighty Lemon Drops-esque like drama colouring the serenade before Spoon-Fed swings in on a spirited stroll clad in resourceful sixties pop hued imagination. Again melodies, hooks, and rhythms create a tapestry of enticement around the just as magnetic tones of Forsberg and Hunt; the song leaving one more thick highlight behind.
Going out with The Entertainer, a drama fuelled noise crafted pop song which in mere seconds had the body bouncing as keenly as its own, Smiling Lessons proved a riveting and thickly enjoyable adventure with The Persian Leaps. Neither experiences are rare rewards for exploring one of the band’s releases but it is hard to remember either being as intense as they were with the new EP.
Smiling Lessons is out now via Land Ski Records; available @ https://thepersianleaps.bandcamp.com/album/smiling-lessons
Pete RingMaster 06/11/2020