Kiran Leonard Real Home

Label
Memorials of Distinction
Released
19th April 2024

Format Info

Limited White Vinyl

Cathartic avant-rock, literate DIY folk & experimental composition exploring displacement, love, climate change, belonging & the places we call home – RIYL Jim O’Rourke, Richard Youngs, This Heat, Richard Dawson, Flying Nun.

‘Real Home’ is the new album by the Manchester-born, London-based artist Kiran Leonard. His sixth album proper (not including innumerable tour-only CD-Rs and short-run cassettes), since his precocious debut in 2013, ‘Real Home’ finds Leonard invigorated by inspiration and experience, making passionate, literate, and mercurial music that explores displacement, love, memory, climate change, connections to home and more.

Encompassing songs recorded after moving to South London, ‘Real Home’ reflects on ideas of belonging and domesticity through folkloric, stream-of-consciousness songwriting. Across nine tracks, Leonard traces lived impressions of the household and the city, expressing sentiments of dislocation, alienation and stasis, but contentment too.

Infusing the avant-rock effervescence, terraced dynamics and visionary lyricism of his music with what he defines as a greater sense of openness, Leonard is as versatile, fervent and imaginative as ever on ‘Real Home’, yet his music is somehow more intimate, affecting, and acutely expressive. Shaped by dual considerations of simplicity and formalism, ‘Real Home’ is by turns beautiful, allusive, and ruminative, an album on which Leonard considers what his songs have resembled in the past and what they mean now.

In recent years, Leonard has crafted eloquent chamber music inspired by the likes of James Joyce and Clarice Lispector (‘Derevaun Seraun’), responded to contemporary politics and communication breakdown in the digital age (‘Western Culture’), and compiled solo works and ensemble recordings for a longform ode to Jonas Mekas and to one of Leonard’s enduring themes; home (‘Trespass On Foot’).

On ‘Real Home’, Leonard reiterates this abiding thematic focus yet ascends to new, different heights, in music of cathartic delicacy and dissonance where all the myriad dimensions of his work to date seem to crystallise.

There are sinuous songs about struggle and defying the pace of city life through drift and diversion (‘Pass Between Houses’), stirring songs of intense feeling and crescendo, described as a form of speculative detective fiction (‘Theatre for Change’). There are touching solo piano ballads (the title track), symbolic contentions with carbon capture and climate change (‘Utopia of Bog’), modes of experimental minimalism (‘Void Attentive’), and other profuse feats of compositional range, embroidered with wild tendrils of narrative and lyrical depth. A record to pore over, and get lost in.