Kicking off with an album cycle with a sprawling, wordy 16-minute single is a bold and ambitious move, but one that feels par for the course for Kiran Leonard. The Manchester singer-songwriter has been called a lot of things in the years since he started putting songs up on Bandcamp: prolific, wunderkind, savant — all descriptors that apply to someone who’s comfortable with taking risks. Thus, “Pink Fruit,” the first single from his forthcoming new album Grapefruit, is a knotty, complicated piece of work. Untangling the narrative of the track is probably out of my league, but it seems to be about masculinity and suffocation and wanting to connect with someone, but fearing where that connection will lead. I think there’s a portion that’s written from the perspective of the woman in The Dream Of The Fisherman’s Wife. At times, Leonard channels the wild abandon of early Dirty Projectors, who he name checks as an influence. A lot of “Pink Fruit” is a widening sound collage, with the meandering improvisational and commercial quality of Broken Social Scene, except it all comes from one person’s mind: “I adolesce/ Default to dark art/ Concerning the heart/ It’s false/ Acrid unfazed whatever.” It’s a worthwhile trip, one that justifies its long runtime. Listen below.
Some words from Leonard on the tracks influences:
deerhoof; shellac; dirty projectors’ “the getty address”; vasco da gama (RIP); enablers; death sentence: panda!; the end of “eraserhead” where [spoiler] the baby dies and the whole of henry’s apartment fills with mashed potato; set design and costumes in alan bennett’s “the madness of king george iii”; a lack of professional percussion equipment (seriously, anybody who’s ever bought a cabasa is a fool of a took: just wrap a piece of sandpaper round a block of wood and scratch the surface with a washing-up brush. it’s exactly the same noise); warren ellis’ 4-string guitar playing on grinderman’s disgustingly underrated second album “grinderman 2” (which for my money is the best album nick cave’s ever been a part of); old friends & new; contrasts & the past & the future;
[…] and i think that the root of it was more connected with cowardice than with malice. it was just pathetic posturing […] “he belittles her because he is afraid that if he doesn’t, they will say that he is a pussy and start to belittle him instead.” this is the inspiration behind the song’s central motif, of the squid in the hollow abdomen. i don’t want to tell you why exactly […] god almighty a school is such a terrible place to spend your formative years […] boy who used to call me a long-haired faggot and punch me in the kidneys in biology classes, this one goes out to you.,,
01 “Secret Police”
02 “Pink Fruit”
03 “Öndör Gongor”
04 “Caiaphas In Fetters”
05 “Don’t Make Friends With Good People”
06 “Exeter Services”
07 “Half-Ruined Already
01/11 London, UK @ Victoria
01/12 Brighton, UK @ Prince Albert
01/13 Salford, UK @ Eagle Inn
01/14 Glasgow, UK @ The Hug & Pint (Celtic Connections Festival)
Grapefruit is out 3/25 via Moshi Moshi. A “Pink Fruit” 12″ is out 1/22.