Beginning life as the bedroom project of multi-disciplinary artist Leo Robinson – a specialist in the kind of hushed, evocative recordings which bring to mind the intimacy of well-loved acts like The Microphones and Thanksgiving – Cult Party has quickly blossomed into one of the most respected bands working out of Manchester.
Recorded last year with a close-knit group of friends, including Moshi Moshi Records’ signee Kiran Leonard, And Then There Was this Sound follows on from Leo’s last full-length effort, the long sold out, Eternal Love & The Death of Everything. The new album was composed and recorded at the same time as Leo, who also works as a visual artist, was busy readying artwork for his debut solo show at the Tiwani Gallery.
With his creativity at a peak, and ideas humming around his head, Leo and his band have produced a rich follow-up album with its eyes very much to the sky. Brimming with energy, inventiveness and positivity, it’s a master-class in taut songwriting and economical arrangement.
Buoyed by the assistance of some of the best musicians in Manchester, Leo’s guitar playing delivers a transcendental, meditative quality, adding weight to a suite of beautifully arranged and generously orchestrated songs. Alongside a minimal set-up of guitar, vocals, organ, cello, violin and percussion, Leo’s baritone croon intones a sequence of emotionally expressive lyrics, veering from free-associative poetry to intimate confessionals. All of this adds up to a wonderfully warm record that spans four tracks and over forty minutes of music, inviting you into the world of its creator.