Pop Crisis is a new project from The Leisure Society’s multi-instrumentalist and producer Christian Hardy, who together with bass player Jon Cox and drummer Sebastian Hankins have recorded 3 EPs, set for release through 2017. The first of these his debut EP is out on the 15th of September and we have the premiere, stream it above.
Hardy calls on personal experiences from his turbulent Midlands childhood and his litany of failed relationships, turning them into disarmingly honest skewed pop songs. “I write about the things we humans do to each other in the real world because of the alternative worlds in our heads” Hardy explains.
Hardy says of the new single “We took one of my old demos and started messing around with it. Jon quickly came up with this insistent bass guitar hook and we built it from there. Seb added an amazing beat, really intricate but still really primal. Once we’d recorded the live take with piano, bass and drums, I chopped up all the piano parts, removing as much as I possibly could without losing the core hook.
Lyrically I felt like the bass riff represented those insistent, nagging thoughts we brood on in our darkest loneliest hours. Angrily listing all the reasons that you’re unfulfilled, unhappy, unsuccessful.
The choruses capture the moment you wake up with some newfound optimism and purpose, that fleeting desire to make right all your wrongs. I threw the kitchen synth at it. It’s about those sorts of things.”
After some early outings as a solo performer (featuring in the ABC television drama Brothers & Sisters, performing with Amanda Palmer, touring with Peter, Bjorn & John), Hardy didn’t share any of his own music for a long time. As co-producer and on-stage foil to The Leisure Society’ frontman Nick Hemming, he was enjoying success, but as a performer in his own right, he’d suffered a fairly seismic crisis of confidence.
“I spent a lot of time overcompensating for my shyness with noise and swagger, then I met Nick and learned about talent in its purest, least affected form. I didn’t stop writing, I just stopped sharing, and the longer the gap got, the weirder it felt to raise my hand.”
Then in 2016 Christian’s uncle Matthew died quite suddenly of pancreatic cancer, putting his insecurities into stark perspective and prompting him to embrace his own creative instincts.
A new determination set in, and inviting his bandmates Jon and Sebastian over to his home to act as pseudo A&R execs, Hardy played through a huge pile of demos and song ideas. Operating a democratic ‘three-tick’ system, the band picked 15 tracks to develop, then started an intensive rehearsal period before heading into The Kinks’ legendary Konk studios in Hornsey, with additional recording added at Hardy’s home studio.