Indie rock power pop outfit The Persian Leaps present their new ‘Smiling Lessons’ EP. Embedded on a magnetic alternative rock foundation, this batch of 7 new songs continue the band’s tradition of churning out power pop earworms with a midwestern charm, with topics as diverse as prescription medicine and failed 20th century British prime ministers.
Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, The Persian Leaps are Drew Forsberg (vocals, guitars, keyboards, drum programming) and Jon Hunt(bass, vocals). Earlier, they released the whimsically infectious lead track ‘Lost Cause’.
“The phrase ‘smiling lessons’ comes from a joke between my wife and me. Honestly, I have no idea how to smile on command for photos. Time and time again, we’ll take pictures and although I could swear I was smiling, when I look at the photos, I’ve either got no expression or a slight grimace. So, we joked that I need smiling lessons. The phrase resonated with me so I tucked it away for a future album title,” says Drew Forsberg.
“Since then, “smiling lessons” has come to mean more to me. If people are supposed to smile in the face of adversity, then all the hardships life throws our way are smiling lessons. You could say that 2020–with its global pandemic, racial injustice, and murder hornets–has been one massive, never-ending smiling lesson.”
‘The Persian Leaps’, as a band name, came to Forsberg in a daydream during a college Greek Archaeology class. He wrote music independently under that name for years until finally assembling a full band in 2012 to perform and record music. Driven and chiming, it is influenced by such artists as The Smiths, Guided by Voices and Teenage Fanclub.
From 2012-2017, the Persian Leaps released an EP of five songs every autumn. NME Magazine described their debut ‘Praise Elephants’ EP(2013) as “celestial guitar jangle”. From their sophomore ‘Drive Drive Delay’ EP in 2014 to their fifth ‘Bicycle Face’ EP, their music has been met with praise by fans and critics alike. Delivering one perfect power pop cocktail after another, finally in 2018, the 18-track ‘Pop That Goes Crunch’ best-of anthology marked the end of an era, while celebrating and revisiting some of the Persian Leaps’ best work.
In 2018, the Persian Leaps retired as a full live band, returning to their roots as a studio project. Together with Jon Hunt, a musician and graphic designer who created the cover art for most of the band’s releases to date, Drew Forsberg recorded ‘Electrical Living’, a full-length album of irresistibly catchy power pop released in September 2019.
As of September 18, the ‘Smiling Lessons’ EP will be available via Land Ski Records, both digitally via Apple Music, Spotify and elsewhere, as well as on CD. It can alrso be obtained directly from the band via Bandcamp.
Drew Forsberg – Vocals, guitars, keyboards, drum programming
Jon Hunt – Bass, vocals
Written by Andrew Milton Forsberg
Recorded and mixed by Neil Weir at Blue Bell Knoll
Mastered by Bruce Templeton at Microphonic Mastering
Cover art by Jon Hunt
4. Lost Cause
5. Your Loss
7. The Entertainer
Photos by Amy Buchanan
“The Persian Leaps sound like they’ve heard more than a few of the great British indie records of the ’80s and ’90s. Silky fuzz and solid hooks echo The Smiths, Orange Juice and Teenage Fanclub with great enthusiasm, and they never fail to recreate that celestial guitar jangle” – NME Magazine
“Unpretentious and infectious… laced with vast riffs, euphonious vocals and pop sensibility. captivatingly pleasurable blustery indie rock” – Louder Than War
“Channeling positive vibes, The Persian Leaps’ new offering will peak your ears, lift your spirits and leave you hanging on every word, every riff they pump out” – Spill Magazine
“Full, satisfying guitar work… charmingly pleasant breezy indie rock” – MAGNET Magazine
“Truncated treatises in big-guitar post-punk power-pop” – The Big Takeover
“Think about huge riffs echoing through your speakers, melodious vocals and the sort of pop sensibility we’ve come to expect from bands like Nada Surf” – Austin Town Hall