Rocksucker was instantly struck by the sheer winningness* of Hero and Leander’s eccentric, panoramic pop sound – think New Pornographers meets Misty’s Big Adventure – so we wrote to the band demanding answers and received back the following, entertaining set of replies from songwriter/group leader Gary Cansell.
(*It’s a word now)
First, though, have yourself a simultaneous butcher’s at and earful of this choice cut from their forthcoming debut album Tumble, out 10th May on Tapete Records. See if you can learn the dance moves…
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
We play pop music for grown-ups.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
Two thirds of us are based in London, and one third in Essex, a little east of the city. Our friend Chris recorded us with Logic and a Mac, and some inexpensive microphones. We mainly recorded in our bedrooms.
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
We’re signed to Tapete, an indie label from Germany. We wooed them through the internet by sending them some songs. Then we met them in Hamburg to do important things, like drink beer from a fridge.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
Our debut album is called Tumble and it will be released in May. It has 11 songs, is many minutes long, has words and notes and song titles and all that. It’s like a proper album. It even has flamingos on the front, and the back, and inside. We decided no album could be complete without several flamingos.
Where can we hear your music online?
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
The first time Emily cried in front of us was quite a moment – we pushed her a little too far during the recording. Drinking beer from a fridge in Hamburg with a record label was good, too. The next gig is always the most exciting.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
We have some dates in Germany this summer – they’re all on the band’s website. We’ll be doing an album launch pretty soon, too. Details to follow. In May, we’re recording a version of TLC’s “No Scrubs” in an ice cream van. I think that counts as a gig.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
We wouldn’t like to jeopardise anyone’s obscurity. They’d never forgive us.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Woah, solitary confinement. What’d I do to deserve that? I’d take all known recordings of whale song, sounds of the ocean, the collected works of Virginia Woolf as read by my niece, sounds of the forest and John Grant.
Gary Cansell, thank you.
Hero and Leander’s debut album Tumble will be released on 10th May through Tapete Records. For more information, please visit Hero and Leander on the Tapete Records website and the band’s own official website.