Leapfrogtown - Dreaming in Public

Leapfrogtown Dreaming in Public cover
Dreaming in Public
Coffee Jingle Records
Leapfrogtown spawned, somewhat unexpectedly, in London in the spring of 2013. The project is the brainchild of musician, actor and artist Chris Guard and musician/producer Stuart Walton. Singer and songwriter Chris Guard is a familiar face to the British public, having appeared in many TV shows and movies. He made his acting debut at the age of 12 in a hit BBC adaptation of David Copperfield and his extensive TV and movie credits include Doctor Who, Return to Treasure Island and The Lord of the Rings. He always had an itch to do something musically and his life-long passion for music and art have now taken centre-stage. Stuart was a founder member of cult 80s synth band, Indians In Moscow that managed to get 3 singles in the independent charts, release an album, do a UK tour and get on national television before imploding.
Influenced by everything from Roxy Music and Bowie to Talking Heads and Foo Fighters, but also Talk Talk, The Waterboys and U2, Leapfrogtown take an eclectic approach to production, letting the sounds serve the songs and the band serve the sounds. Leapfrogtown’s sound is diverse but distinctive, taking in elements of art rock, post-punk, guitar pop and electronica. Chris’ voice is reminiscent a bit of Marillion’s current singer Steve Hogarth with a taste for Bowie-isms and weird vocal acrobatics that however seem to work sufficiently well.
What is surprising is how “well-written” all compositions are. While they seem to explore the minimalist side of things, be it showgazing slower and sadder pop dittos or simple bubblegum rockers, all the songs seem to include a careful hook and a nice release point which makes them work superbly. Be it the very close to home, funky opener “Fear”, the punk rocking leadoff single “Seven”, the almost Voidoid’s like “Enough is Enough”, the epic “Anyone’s Game” or the title track almost every song and every moment, every lyric, every nook and cranny, is well placed and well-intended. The production of Walton may be minimalist as they come, but it’s clear and concise and works great. If you don’t have blinds, it’s a pretty interesting album that you could lose yourself in(to).