Album review: Leave Your Body Behind – Post Mortem Paradise

Source: album artwork

Words by Lady Godiva

Leave Your Body Behind, a misleading dark name for a band that sounds surprisingly mellow. A closer look at their sophomore album title Post Mortem Paradise also contrasts with the initial austerity and one is led to a land with no skeletons in the closet indeed, but merely a body of nine bittersweet melodies that comfort the listener. Recorded on an 8-track portable studio during the pandemic, these songs exhibit the anatomy of coming to terms with loss and being set free in gradual phases. There is no excessive gloominess, rather a gripping melancholy with a heartfelt narrative and an endearing light at the end of the tunnel. 

Husky but pleasing vocals adorn the record and are essential in guiding you to the promised land of Post Mortem Paradise, that pitch sounds so close the vocalist feels like a confident and a companion in misfortune. Based in the Midlands, Leave Your Body Behind was once a full band that turned into a one man band during the time of social distancing. The frontman Max Hickman crafts intimate ambiances and pens poetic and existential lyrics which are worth paying attention to. Good lyricists seem few and far between nowadays. 

“Led Astray” sets a slanted and rather disenchanted tone but “Death of this Feeling” opens the spectrum in full scope with a pervading brightness that beams you in but also puts you in a meditative and reflective mood. This is further echoed in “Static Creation” whose soothing plenitude glows as splendidly as a sunset. A wonder of sunlight exploding. “Never Change” has a kind of sass that may remind some of the Brian Jonestown Massacre in their Take It From The Man! days, it instils some merrier groove. Likewise, the bohemian “Daisy Chain” brings forth a more upbeat atmosphere that sweeps around. 

All tracks on the album fit into each other as variations evolving in outlook and emotional well-being. There is an ongoing quest for peace of mind, particularly prominent on the last two tracks “Deliverance” and “Sunshine’s Gone”. Leonard Cohen‘s words spring to mind in this chiaroscuro realm: “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” The ending notes on the final track feel like a spirit epically flying away whilst dissolving into the ether. Step into the abyss for goosebumps. 

Post Mortem Paradise is available digitally on Bandcamp and Spotify.

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