EP Review: Mahatma Raindrop's 'A Little Leisure'
November saw Sunderland/Huddersfield indie four piece Mahatma Raindrop release their latest offering, 'A Little Leisure'. This EP seemingly comes largely in the form of a love letter to frontman Jonny’s birthplace of Sunderland, with many evident lyrical themes of identity and roots tied in.
The EP’s opener 'Under the Radar' is a charming one, with layered harmonised guitar licks and vocal lines being the main focus for much of the track, with the most distinctive feature for me being Jonny’s Mackem accent really coming through on his lead vocals. This upbeat number really doesn’t slow down, and is guaranteed to get stuck in your head for days as its chorus is among some of the catchiest I’ve heard this year. There are some real summery, Paul Simon vibes from this track that are much appreciated on a Winter’s day.
'Home' is next on the tracklist. It starts as more of a relaxed, melodic number which, to be fair, is probably needed after the whirlwind opening! It gently crescendos into an enormous power ballad, the type of song you’d play in the car when it’s raining, staring off out the window into the distance like you’re the lead character in a film (oh, just me?)...
Lovely, lovely stuff.
Conveniently enough, 'Seaburn' follows as track number three - are you seeing the theme yet? - and really epitomises for me everything that the EP seems to be about. Homesick lyrics like: “this city is where I will die with you”, and reminiscing about spending all their money on the amusements on the dock, paint such a vivid picture and narrative for the listener to follow. Backed up by immense instrumentation, varying between intense stabs to fluid riffs, everything in this track works together really well as a cohesive whole.
The graceful transition into 'The Weather' is a welcome one, which really shows off these guys’ versatility. A track of a very solemn and stripped back nature, with mournful lyrics, beautiful acoustic tones and a false ending to boot, I can already picture this song getting a response of flashlights and lighters at future Mahatma Raindrop shows. A really emotive number, and though it’s definitely a curveball compared to the rest of the record, they’ve definitely managed to put their own stamp on it and ends up working as a gorgeous juxtaposition within the context.
'A Little Leisure' has an anthemic, singalong feel throughout, and the closing track 'Different Places, Different Faces' is no different in that respect and works as the perfect way to complete the EP.
The ambient introduction is sharply disturbed after a short opening verse, which hurtles it into a sound that Mahatma Raindrop have really coined as their own. That being said, it’s probably one of the less innovative tracks, but the no-frills kind of approach gives everything a little more room to breathe and the standard of attention to detail is still completely second to none.
This record is made up of five very cleverly written, catchy and lyrically relatable songs which are sure to get any crowd moving. The essence of Mahatma Raindrop’s energetic live show is entirely captured in these recordings, and the boys have managed to release yet another feel good record which you should be sure to check out at your earliest convenience.
'A Little Leisure' really does make me proud to be a Mackem.
Photography: Holly Olivia Stephenson