Over the years, countless bands have fallen under the spell of Teenage Fanclub, tracing well back to their Creation Records days. That effect has not been lost, even today. Today we introduce you to an artist with the vigor, positivity, loaded hooks and pop sensibility of their Scottish predecessors. Welcome indie rock power pop outfit The Persian Leaps present their new single ‘Your Loss’, a fun, catchy single that harkens back to Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque days. This single can be found on the band’s new ‘Smiling Lessons’ EP.
Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, The Persian Leaps are Drew Forsberg (vocals, guitars, keyboards, drum programming) and Jon Hunt (bass, vocals).The accompanying video for ‘Your Loss’ was edited by Rouse Productions with videography by frontman Forsberg.
Embedded on a magnetic alternative rock foundation, this batch of 7 new songs continue the band’s tradition of churning out power pop earworms with a midwestern charm, with topics as diverse as prescription medicine and failed 20th century British prime ministers. Earlier, they released the whimsically infectious lead track ‘Lost Cause’.
“The phrase ‘smiling lessons’ comes from a joke between my wife and me. Honestly, I have no idea how to smile on command for photos. Time and time again, we’ll take pictures and although I could swear I was smiling, when I look at the photos, I’ve either got no expression or a slight grimace. So, we joked that I need smiling lessons. The phrase resonated with me so I tucked it away for a future album title,” says Drew Forsberg.
“Since then, “smiling lessons” has come to mean more to me. If people are supposed to smile in the face of adversity, then all the hardships life throws our way are smiling lessons. You could say that 2020–with its global pandemic, racial injustice, and murder hornets–has been one massive, never-ending smiling lesson.”
‘The Persian Leaps’, as a band name, came to Forsberg in a daydream during a college Greek Archaeology class. He wrote music independently under that name for years until finally assembling a full band in 2012 to perform and record music. Driven and chiming, it is influenced by such artists as The Smiths, Guided by Voices and Teenage Fanclub.
From 2012-2017, the Persian Leaps released an EP of five songs every autumn. NME Magazine described their debut ‘Praise Elephants’ EP (2013) as “celestial guitar jangle”. From their sophomore ‘Drive Drive Delay’ EP in 2014 to their fifth ‘Bicycle Face’ EP, their music has been met with praise by fans and critics alike. Delivering one perfect power pop cocktail after another, finally in 2018, the 18-track ‘Pop That Goes Crunch’ best-of anthology marked the end of an era, while celebrating and revisiting some of the Persian Leaps’ best work.
In 2018, the Persian Leaps retired as a full live band, returning to their roots as a studio project. Together with Jon Hunt, a musician and graphic designer who created the cover art for most of the band’s releases to date, Drew Forsberg recorded ‘Electrical Living’, a full-length album of irresistibly catchy power pop released in September 2019.
The ‘Smiling Lessons’ EP is out now, available via Land Ski Records, both digitally via Apple Music, Spotify and elsewhere, as well as on CD. It can alrso be obtained directly from the band at https://thepersianleaps.bandcamp.com/album/smiling-lessons
Drew Forsberg – Vocals, guitars, keyboards, drum programming
Jon Hunt – Bass, vocals
Written by Andrew Milton Forsberg
Recorded and mixed by Neil Weir at Blue Bell Knoll
Mastered by Bruce Templeton at Microphonic Mastering
Cover art by Jon Hunt
4. Lost Cause
5. Your Loss
7. The Entertainer
Why not enjoy the full ‘Smiling Lessons’ LP?