The Stress of Leisure is a sun-skewered faux wave outfit from the sub tropics of Brisbane, Queensland (Australia). Ian Powne (guitar/vocals) is joined by the femme-attack of Pascalle Burton (keys/synths), Jane Elliott (bass) and Jessica Moore (drums).
Having played alongside the likes of Shonen Knife, Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds, Spiral Stairs (Pavement), Dave Graney and the MistLY , Cable Ties, Hits, Nice Biscuit and toured Australia with Regurgitator and Custard, The Stress of Leisure is quite possibly ‘the band you can’t believe you’ve never heard of’ on the Australian music scene.
The band was formed by Powne, who plays guitar and sings. Powne initially wrote the moniker on his home recordings, later graduating to record the first full-length album (Self-Titled) released in 2006. With seven albums in total, the discography of The Stress of Leisure can be broken up into three parts; the first three albums being pretty much like Powne solo albums, the middle two albums featuring two different line-ups and a more collaborative approach, and the most recent two albums Eruption Bounce (2017) and Faux Wave (2020) representing the classic lineup, the fully collaborative band model.
Like all the best bands, The Stress of Leisure is a party band in the art-school mould. Imagine a Brisbane backyard full of misfits dancing and sweating their hearts out. It’s Queensland post-punk and irreverent as all hell. Brisbane community radio station 4ZZZ describes the band as “off-kilter dancefloor filler.”
When legendary Australian musician Dave Graney describes you as “weird and freaky in the most positive ways, joyous and gleeful, a beacon of creativity” though, you know you must be doing something right.