Joseph Leonard – Weather Vane Woman (Heavy)


Even when Joseph Leonard builds up speed he still sounds relaxed. Maybe it’s his baritone – chocolaty, close to spoken, with no trace of pressure. It makes the most ‘rock’ song here the least successful; ‘Summer of Love and Hate’ is tambourine top-heavy and muddled in the mid-range, although the ‘Reprise’ towards the album’s end is more welcoming.
What’s best are the afternoon moods, autumnal in pace and temperature. ‘Daughter Don’t Dance’ has an easy, back-porch arrangement, with shadings of delicate trumpet that recall David Sylvian circa Secrets Of The Beehive. ‘Haiku to the Bleeding Eye’ is as concise as the title suggests: a lovely, brief welling of vocal harmonies and piano. ‘Scarf’ is a metaphor for a floundering relationship – “There was a scarf in the dirt…/I had a feeling that scarf was me” – but though the sentiment is full of regret, the musical tone is assured. The song is a slow, folkish melody reminiscent of Darren Hanlon without the grandpa puns.
Backed by a small coterie of local indie talent – Emma Hoy (The Rebel Astronauts), Matt Toohey (The Woods Themselves) and Tony Dupé (Saddleback) – Joseph Leonard has managed an understated and pleasingly diverse album. It’s slow to unfold and yield itself to a listener’s attention, but give it time.


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emmy likes cats, cooking, zines and anarchism. tea pots, typewriters and vinyl records make her happy.

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