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Leif Erikson - Leif Erikson

(Vinyl LP)

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Leif Erikson are a London-based five-piece who craft quietly emotive, effortlessly explorative transatlantic pop: five unique life journeys brought together under the namesake of a little-known Icelandic explorer, believed by many to have been the first Westerner to reach the shores of America. And at a time when an increasing number of new bands see depth and substance as a potential commercial risk, lead singer and guitarist Sam Johnston's socially conscious lyrics project a disarming honesty. Here are songs which offer the kind of thoughtful interiority that, while grounded in intimate observation, feel instantly relatable to anybody struggling to find meaning and comfort amidst the hectic concerns of inner city living.

Informing much of Leif Erikson's eponymous debut is this meditative introspection of trying to be an artist in the capital while juggling the anxieties of quotidian living. On single "Concrete and Steel," for instance, Sam candidly references a working life spent grafting in London's kitchens: "The streets of London paved with gold / My fortune's there I've been told / Pass my freedom to the hands of power / Washing dishes till eleven for seven pounds an hour." It's the expression of an individual in a society where individualism often takes a backseat to the business of survival. These are, nevertheless, songs of steely resistance, which seek freedom wherever you can find it (whether in nature or through making music itself).

Ultimately, Leif Erikson seek to take the disaffection of modern life and turn it into a form of ascension through the power of music. They're still only at the foot of their career but like their explorer namesake, Leif Erikson are what happens when you find yourself – however you get there – right where you are supposed to be.

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