"The visions we offer our children shape the future. It matters what those visions are. Often they become self-fulfilling prophecies. Dreams are maps." -- Carl Sagan, "Pale Blue Dot"
Sagan dared us to conjure the worst possibilities of our continued behavior towards our planet and all of its inhabitants. To examine the effects of our actions in the present, and to believe in the spaces currently beyond our reach. Betterment and preservation will be achieved through technology and gentler minds, but such cartography first requires bravery. It is this dynamic ambition that pervades Leisure Cruise's self-titled debut.
It was out of tragedy and chance that Dave Hodge -- a member of Broken Social Scene and arranger for Janet Jackson/The Neptunes and Carly Simon -- and Leah Siegel, Firehorse frontwoman, came together. Relocated by the destructive terror of Hurricane Sandy, Hodge sat in a cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when he recognized Siegel passing by. The two had met a few years earlier when recording a TV spot, and, for whatever reason, Hodge felt compelled to invite Siegel to try writing music together. A few months later, an unforeseen proposition birthed Leisure Cruise.
It was one question that navigated the course of their burgeoning debut: What if we had to leave Earth and colonize a new planet? While considering the abandonment of our home because of depleted resources or whatever reason seems like a rather dismal choice in message, this excursion is more one of hope for duo.
"What if the apocalypse is a peaceful event?" Siegel said in a press release. "We elect to leave this planet before the nuclear holocaust we've always imagined, let this rock regenerate and start over.”
Combining the synth-pop sounds we have long imagined will exist in the chrome-embossed clubs of an interstellar existence with the instruments-raised-to-the-cosmos attitude of bands like Angels & Airwaves, the duo's self-titled album is undoubtedly the product of minds rooted in the digital era. From the dark grind of the sexy opener "Double Digit Love" to the radiant "Sailing" to the slow-building climax of "Ragged Dawn," Leisure Cruise will take you on a journey somewhere far away. Where that cruiser lands and what that planet promises, however, is totally up to you.
You can pre-order the album on Leisure Cruise's Pledge Music page, where a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Musicians On Call. The album drops on May 6 via Last Gang Records. Stream the excellent debut above.