Last month we highlighted a gorgeous single, ‘Flowers’ from Aussie chanteuse AUDREY POWNE . We learned then that Audrey was also the front lady for a band , LEISURE CENTRE and – right on cue, the band has just released an album ‘Mind Full’ and it kind of carries on where ‘Flowers’ left off. That’s to say the music is hard to categorise…. it’s certainly soulful, but not soul in the classic sense, probably explained by how the band came together.
Leisure Centre is essentially songwriter/drummer/singer Hugh Rabinovici and his right-hand-lady, vocalist Audrey Powne. They met at Melbourne Jazz School and bonded over a shared love of Erykah Badu and a desire to experiment with digital music. As the band evolved though, live instruments shared the platform with programming.
The rest of the band comprises harmony singers Lauren Brydie and Jamie-Lee Fanning, David Thor (guitar), James “Sparklefingers” Bowers (keys) and bassist Tom Pettit. Together they offer a sound palette that combines soul and jazz elements alongside odd rhythmic devices and layered harmonies.
Album highlights include the sweet title track, the groove-heavy ‘Sucka’ and the ‘All I Long For’
Leisure Centre’s ‘Mind Full’ won’t be every one’s cup of soul tea. Yes, it is left field, experimental in places. Even the band’s PR people call them “charming oddballs” but if you’re up for something a little different give Leisure Centre a try. Seek out too Audrey Powne’s ‘Flowers’.