The word “classic” has been thrown around a lot recently – Iggy Azalea’s The New Classic, MKTO’s “Classic” (just to name a few) – but that’s a hefty claim to set yourself up for. Time will tell the things that become classics, be it for American culture or the subculture you identify with or you personally. You may have that glorious moment when you know immediately what you’re listening to will stick around, but often what makes something a classic is it growing with you. Not everything can be an instant classic, and it’s understandable why we’d want it to be but that doesn’t make it any more possible. The word evokes great feelings- feelings of nostalgia, warmth, familiarity. Classics are old friends who have seen you through it all. They are the stories that stick with you to pass on to those you love. They are so incredibly special and personal, and that is why we scoff at those who claim they’ve made their classics in fifteen minutes of fame, even though it’s an understandable desire. I think we’d all be ecstatic with producing a classic.
The beautiful thing about Leisure Cruise (duo Dave Hodge and Leah Siegel) and their self-titled debut is that while although they do draw from many classic influences (“Imagine the music of a John Hughes film if it had been written by Bowie, remixed by Johnny Jewel, and fronted by a female Prince, and you’ll start to get the idea,” is written in their Soundcloud bio), they don’t claim to be any sort of new classic. They hand you their music and leave you to whatever your relationship with it may be. “We’re not trying to emulate anything. We’re just making music,” says Siegel.
But, the music they make is grand. I heard “Ragged Dawn” on a Songza station and immediately had to find out who it was that could make something that sounded so exciting but familiar at once. As someone who tells their life story through music, this was the summer anthem I had been waiting for. As I went and listened to the rest of the album, Leisure Cruise didn’t disappoint. I’m now hooked. Out of fear of jinxing it, I don’t want to call it a classic yet, but this album sounds like everything I’ve ever felt when I search for constellations and get lost in the night sky. This is an album that expands throughout your bones and by the closing track “Wake up the Ghosts,” it can leave galaxies in your heart. You can feel starlight in your fingertips. This is electro-pop that goes deeper than most. It’s a summer album that has the power to transcend much longer than this one season of life. Whether or not it becomes a classic for you, it is these things that classics are made from.