Band: The Persian Leaps: Drew Forsberg: vocals, guitars, keyboards and drums; and Jon Hunt: bass, vocals and piano on ‘Catnip for Cupid’
Album: ‘Electrical Living;’ Recorded and mixed by Neil Weir, Blue Bell Knoll; Mastered by Bruce Templeton, Microphonic Mastering
Retaining the core roots that have helped make a band relatable to longtime fans, while also somewhat transforming to fit in with modern tastes to continue attracting new audiences, is a powerful, yet equally tricky, journey that all musicians must contend with throughout their careers. That’s certainly the case for the St. Paul-based alternative band, The Persian Leaps, which released its latest album, ‘Electrical Living,’ on October 4 via Land Ski Records.
The 11-track pop-indie rock album, whose name was inspired by a phrase singer Drew Forsberg saw on an old appliance brochure at a Minnesota Historical Society exhibit, highlights the frontman’s idea that electric guitars hold the key to music lovers’ futures. ‘Electrical Living’ is the beginning of a new era for the Midwest duo, as the group dissolved amicably as a full, live band after the distribution of its 2017 EP, ‘Bicycle Face.’ But the vocalist wanted to move forward with the Persian Leaps and return to the band’s studio project roots.
So Forsberg decided to record the 11 songs on the group’s new album with Jon Hunt, a longtime Minneapolis musician. The singer’s goal was to retain The Persian Leaps’ core guitar-driven sound, while also trying out some new elements, like using keyboards for the first time.
Continuing the powerhouse pop-rock vibe that was presented on ‘Bicycle Face,’ ‘Electrical Living’ immediately proves what a stellar tribute it pays to classic alternative music that was first made popular in the 1980’s and ’90s. The Persian Leaps’ entries on ‘Electrical Living’ feature lyrics that thrive on exploring contemporary issues through post punk-power pop symbolism, and feature a compelling sense of angst that’s unrivaled by similar songs in the genre.
‘Electrical Living’ opens with the dynamic entry, ‘The Art Form,’ which features classic rock guitar strumming. Intertwined with stunning vocals from Forsberg, the song, whose run time clocks in at only about a minute, sets up The Persian Leaps’ signature pop-rock sound for the rest of the record. The opening track then transitions into the album’s sophomore tune, ‘Catnip For Cupid,’ which also thrives on its ’80s-inspired drum beats and vocals.
Another highlight on ‘Electrical Living’ is its fifth entry, ‘About Your Record.’ Throughout the ’80s-inspired pop-rock song, Forsberg tries to soothe the unease of people who are stuck in the past, and allow their previous decisions to constantly influence their present and future. The singer points out to the person he’s speaking to that if the past is truly behind them, they shouldn’t waste their time confessing about the sins of their former self. He also admits that he knows about their record, but doesn’t focus on their previous crimes. He also advises listeners to make peace with, and move on from, their past in the best track on the album.
Another noteworthy tune on ‘Electrical Living’ is the seventh entry, ‘The Problem Is,’ which switches from a classic to alternative indie rock vibe. Forsberg’s lyrics contemplate life, as he admits that some people want to hide from others, even when they don’t wish to truly be alone in life. The song would be the perfect choice to accompany a scene in a film, during which the protagonist is going through an important transformation in life. Like the film character, The Persian Leaps’ singer realizes that he can’t be happy with the way his life is going, so he aims to change his existence.
‘Electrical Living’ begins to wind down with its penultimate track, ‘When Can I See You,’ which continues the record’s alternative indie pop-rock vibe. The tune’s sound, which is similar to such acts as Beck and The Persian Leaps’ fellow Minnesota-based alternative rock band, Semisonic, is the perfect ode to people embracing the possibilities of seeing someone again.
‘When Can I See You’ then delves into the last entry on ‘Electrical Living,’ which is titled ‘Dominoes.’ On the song, which returns to The Persian Leaps’ classic rock sound, Forsberg croons about how people often don’t see the fault lines in their lives until the last minute, even when the warning signs are right in front of them. When people then fall like the title dominoes, their intended course of life is often changed.
Retaining the core roots that have helped make a band successful with longtime fans, while also somewhat changing to fit in with contemporary tastes to continue attracting new audiences, is a vigorous, yet equally complex, quest that all musicians must contend with throughout their careers. That’s certainly the case for The Persian Leaps and its latest album, ‘Electrical Living.’
‘Electrical Living’ is the beginning of a new era for the Midwest duo. Forsberg hopes to move forward by returning to the band’s studio project roots with its new pop-indie rock record. The singer’s goal os to also retain The Persian Leaps’ core guitar-driven sound, while also trying out some new elements, like using keyboards.
Continuing the powerhouse pop-rock vibe that was presented on ‘Bicycle Face,’ ‘Electrical Living’ immediately proves what a stellar tribute it pays to classic alternative music that was first made popular in the 1980’s and ’90s. The entries on ‘Electrical Living’ feature lyrics that thrive on exploring contemporary issues through post punk-power pop symbolism, and feature a compelling sense of angst that are unrivaled by similar songs in the genre.