Think back to the latest dramatic film you've seen. Fast forward to the scene where the main character realizes everything he's ever wanted is right there in front of him or, when he figures out what it takes to conquer impossible odds. Now, forget the music was playing in the background. Moments like these should really be scored by Leiahdorus' Parallel Universe.
The band's second full-length release is a romantic foray into synth-pop paradise. Combine the electronic-accessibility of the Postal Service with the lyrical intimacy of the Cure or Bright Eyes and you've got a sound that wastes no time cutting to your emotional core.
"I think we sound much more like a band with our new album," says lead singer and pianist Jason Smith. "On the first record, it was basically just me doing all the writing, but on this one I think we definitely got more creative juices flowing."
Smith writes most of the music for the three-piece; configuring the piano, synth-keyboard and drum-loop parts before Fox Fletcher adds his distorted guitar to the mix. Smith collaborated with synth-keyboardist Darla VanWinkle to write the lyrics for "Universe"—an experience which, Smith says, "really pushed me and encouraged me to be more creative. I think Darla's ideas bring a lot to the band."
Your average Leiahdorus song starts with some classical piano that is quickly accompanied by VanWinkle's keyboard-fashioned smorgasbord of electronic melody. Shortly after, Smith's angelic and effeminately tinged vocals make their presence felt as Fletcher's plunging guitar riffs follow closely behind.
Leiahdorus seems to have every intention of adding a drummer, but, Smith says, finding the right person takes time. "You can't afford to be sloppy with our type of music," Smith explains. "There's room for someone to be creative, but if you're off-beat, it sticks out like a sore thumb. So you have to try to be simplistic; that's hard for some people."
Although the band has been warmly received by audiences across the country, Leiahdorus is looking forward to returning to Burt's Tiki Lounge, or "our home away from home," as Fletcher described it on KUNM's "Ear to the Ground." Vertigo Venus and Random Access Memory will join Leiahdorus to celebrate Universe's official release. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m.