In February, The Stress of Leisure decamped to Melbourne for a week of recording at Phaedra Studios (located in Coburg). We worked with John Lee who has recorded many fave artists of ours – especially the Laura Jean Devotion album, an album we played a lot in the van whilst touring. We’ve also dug the albums of other artists he’s worked with including Lost Animal, No Sister and Beaches but to name a few.

We didn’t know what to expect but came away pretty happy with it all. Over five days we worked towards recording ten songs and we mostly got there, bar a few overdubs. Not only was working with John a great experience for us, he also drew out our more punkier artier sensibilities. We were feeding off the energy of the songs. No click tracks. There was a feeling amongst all of us, that things were working out a bit too easy. What was the catch? When were things going to fall in a heap? Ian was complimented by Pascalle for being patient during everything. What was going on!?!

Amongst it all we even managed to catch a couple of live sets from one of our favourite Australian acts – Dave Graney and the MistLY. They played the Memo Music Hall down in St Kilda on a Thursday night and were absolutely on fire. We were lucky enough to play a couple of shows with them in 2012 – one at the Miami Shark Bar which Dave would probably love to recall – and hadn’t seen them play as a foursome since. Such a great band in full flight.

We’re hoping to mix the album soon and maybe, don’t wanna jinx it, it’ll probably come out later in 2020. What does it sound like? Good question. It definitely feels more political than our other albums as a lot of the lyrics were written during the horrendous bushfire summer of 2019/20. It definitely feels looser and punkier too. Some killer bass lines. John compared us to a few no wave acts which was very generous of him. Jessica Moore, our resident millennial drummer (and early adopter of technology), said we’re more like ‘faux wave’. Maybe Jessica’s onto something here?

Whatever it sounds like, we look forward to releasing it someday. The above collage is some photos taken during the recording week. Good times.

We’re going to be supporting Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds at The Foundry on Saturday, May 19.

Having seen the band in full flight last time they were in Brisbane, we can testify – this will be a great gig. Ourselves and the mighty Gentle Ben and His Shimmering Hands will be in support.

Kid Congo Powers, is an American rock guitarist and singer, best known as a member of The Gun Club, the Cramps and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Alongside the Pink Monkey Birds, he continues a great legacy.

We’ll be trying a few new songs out in our set. One is a cover of a well-known song by R.E.M. which I think we’ve re-made appropriately for us.

Come check it out.

Jane Elliott, bass player in The Stress of Leisure and expert in perfumery, was commissioned to come up with a fragrance match range for the members of Custard in celebration of our pending tour with them to the deep north of Queensland – Friday May 4 (Dalrymple Hotel, Townsville) and Saturday May 5 (Edge Hill Tavern, Cairns). Things will get tropical, but the scent of success will be in the air. Notes included below. Stocking soon…

David McCormack
Masculinity: eccentric, playful, creative
Favoured animal: a handsome, colourful cockatoo
Tropical hideaway: a luxurious turret packed with nautical memorabilia, overlooking a quiet Palm Cove vista
Fragrance notes: sophisticated, cooling citrus, for nights in white linen

Paul Medew
Masculinity: practical, adventurous, youthful
Favoured animal: a baby saltwater crocodile
Tropical activity: a solo kayak voyage down a lonely, mangrove-lined creek
Fragrance notes: lavender and hints of savannah spice float alluringly in the hot, muddy air

Matthew Strong
Masculinity: daring, rough ‘n tumble, devil may care
Favoured animal: a small pack of friendly dingoes
Tropical kickback tunes: Astrud Gilberto, Jimmy Buffett, Slayer
Fragrance notes: disturbing musk, inspired by said dingoes, is a louche evening hit

Glenn Thompson
Masculinity: urbane, minimal, artistic
Favoured animal: a rare fruit bat
Tropical cocktail: a blend of lychee and rum, with some kind of unusual nut giving a welcome trace of bitterness
Fragrance notes: austere church incense adds a meditative note to a stroll down the backpacker strip