The apocalypse is not necessarily a bad thing.
At least that’s the optimistic message of New York synth-pop duo Leisure Cruise, which was formed by Leah Siegel and Dave Hodge in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“Dave is very deeply connected with ocean and has sailed many, many times and he is a very seasoned captain, which is really extraordinary, and I was obsessing over space at the time,” Siegel says.
Both were considering the concepts of the vast great unknown and discovering untapped resources. This lead them to thinking about the state of our own planet.
The two began pitching song ideas back and forth, editing each other’s work on the fly and adding to the songwriting.
“One day there was a story in the paper about how they found three mirror earths that we could potentially move to, and Dave and I just started rapping about it and we realized that it just kind of made us feel hopeful that maybe that was a possibility,” Siegel says.
That idea birthed the notion of the ultimate leisure cruise, humanity moving to a new planet en masse to continue our existence. They envisioned a grand, peaceful exodus from Earth, as reflected on the cover of their debut album.
“What if we could allow this planet to regenerate? What if we could take off and let the planet have its life back and we could start somewhere else and maybe that means we get a fresh start and was just very comforting to imagine that this is a possibility,” Siegel says.
They saw that the apocalypse could potentially be a positive change for the planet. It could provide a new beginning for humanity, rather than a violent, nuclear wasteland.
While the idea was the inspiration for the name of the group, as well as the album’s cover art, an end times journey to space is not the only lyrical focus of the band.
“Not to say that it’s all sci-fi future vibe. I mean, again, that was a time when we were sitting around talking and coming up with an interesting thought. It’s not like we did that, say ‘Let’s write a sci-fi future record,’” Hodge says.
The rest of the album is drawn, lyrically, from other things that were inspiring them in various ways at the time.
“But ultimately the themes are very much related,” Siegel says.
They released their self-titled debut record on Last Gang Records in 2014. Now, they’re going on tour across Canada with Death Cab for Cutie and Metric.
Published in Volume 70, Number 25 of The Uniter (March 24, 2016)