“The Persian Leaps” began as a phrase singer/guitarist Drew Forsberg doodled in a notebook margin during a college Greek Archaeology course. He wrote music independently under that name for years, until finally assembling a full band in 2012 to perform and record driving, chiming music influenced by The Smiths, Guided by Voices, and Teenage Fanclub.
The Persian Leaps have adhered to a disciplined schedule of concise releases: each fall bringing an EP of five songs totaling fifteen minutes or less. In 2013, the Persian Leaps released debut EP Praise Elephants, which NME Magazine described as a “celestial guitar jangle”. The band completed a follow-up EP Drive Drive Delay in 2014, praised by XS Noize for it’s “instantly catchy melodic harmonies layered on top of droning guitar.” In 2015, the band released High & Vibrate, an EP championed by The Big Takeover for its “big-time hooks, upbeat attitude, classic power-trio punch.” 2016 saw the release of Your City, Underwater, which earned a spot on The Big Takeover’s Top 30 EPs of 2016. In September of 2017, the band’s fifth EP Bicycle Face was delivered yet again to fan and critic praise. Named for a 19th-century medical condition concocted to scare women away from biking, Bicycle Face was described as a “perfect power pop cocktail” by 50thirdand3rd.
Now the band has come back back for their annual fall release, but this year brings something different and special, as they present Pop That Goes Crunch, out on October 12. The album is a special 18-track “best of” anthology collection with re-worked highlights from the band’s past five EP’s and one new single, which technically makes it their first full-length.
Today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive early listen of the album ahead of its upcoming release. At times blistering and raw, and polished at others, the album captures the full spectrum of The Persian Leaps. From the opening song of “See Me Unaware” – a harmonic and catchy garage rocker, to the triumphant, Teenage Fanclub-esque grooving or the album closer “Sleepless”, we get a portrait of a band capable of writing incredibly palatable power pop songs. Unfortunately, there aren’t many bands around these days who take such a straightforward approach to songcraft. Lucky for us, Pop That Goes Crunch proves The Persian Leaps have an abundance of material up their sleeves.
Listen to the album in full and read commentary on the story behind it from vocalist Drew Forsberg below…
The name of the album comes (with permission) from a power pop blog of the same name (popthatgoescrunch.com). When I first heard that phrase years ago, I fell in love with it and knew I wanted to use it for an album title someday. The phrase perfectly describes what a Persian Leaps song sounds like to me.
Pop That Goes Crunch includes 17 songs from our previous EPs and singles that have been at least remixed/remastered and, in several cases, re-recorded to some extent (new guitars and/or vocals).
For the older songs, I chose our favorite songs to play live and sequenced the album as I would a set list for a live show. In recent years, we’d almost always open with the one-two punch of “See Me Unaware” and “The Weather,” so that’s how the album starts. Similarly, our song “Sleepless” from the first EP was one of several songs we’d always end our sets with, so the album closes with that song.
It was an interesting process to revisit all the previously recorded material with Neil Weir, who’s recorded and/or mixed almost all of our recorded output. We both know a lot more about how to get the most out of a Persian Leaps song than we did at the start, so even for songs where we only remixed the original tracks, I feel like the results are vastly superior. For several songs, I re-tracked my lead vocals and/or guitars to capture better performances, without changing much about the arrangement.
This release is very important to me. It’s the culmination of over five years as a full band and includes what I think is our best work (even better now, in some cases). Also, as our first full-length release, I hope it gets more attention than our previous short EPs have gotten. If you haven’t heard The Persian Leaps before, Pop That Goes Crunch would be the perfect introduction to the band. Finally, it marks the transition to a new phase for the band, which is already underway. Moving forward, we’ll be operating as a studio-only project. We’ll release a full-length of new material in the fall of 2019, with another full-length likely in 2020.
Pop That Goes Crunch is out October 12.
Photo credit: Drew Johnson