NEWS: Leif Erikson @ Independent | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Paul Phung

I first heard Sam Johnston, singer of transatlantic indie pop band Leif Erikson, when he fronted Flashguns; a band with undeniably powerful songs, but which never quite worked out commercially. That being said, the technically gifted frontman’s new band is making all the right noises, and they will play Independent, Sunderland on Saturday 23rd February.

Named after the great Icelandic explorer, Leif Erikson released their self-titled debut album in late 2017. It’s an expansive record that really showcases the band’s maturity and restraint. It’s also very distinct from Flashguns, who were a sometimes breathless mix of hair-raising riffs and baselines.

Leif Erikson are all about slowing things down, making room for ambience and having you hang off every word. Lyrically, they draw on themes of introspection, self-realisation and defiance from a culture that makes life so complicated. This makes for songs you can really identify with. In the chorus of Real Stuff Sam confesses “I just want to live a simple life” and that is really symbolic of where the band are creatively.

Although simplicity is the aim, the music is still unmistakably hazy, as if written in the stratosphere, making its way down to us only through lofty commandments of Americana rhythms and indie pop melodies. The band released a new single, Matter, at the back end of last year and if it’s anything to go by the Independent gig will see Leif Erikson at their dreamy, bluesy and esoteric best. Don’t miss it.


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