Leverage Models came out of nowhere. Leverage Models came out of everywhere. When our friend Shannon Fields sent us a few new songs last year, we scrambled to our speakers and hit play. The embers of Stars Like Fleas, Shannon’s decade-long project centered in New York City, had been glowing since our release of 2008’sThe Ken Burns Effect. They’d set alight a new flame, Family Dynamics, and we’d been watching that bloom, sensing a new eruption of ideas under Shannon’s magnetic leadership. But it was the evolution that we didn’t see that manifested in five songs in our mailbox, postmarked from Shannon’s new home in upstate New York. This had been a long time coming.
You can see a lot from the vantage point of 2011. A landscape of days lived stretches behind us, foggy in memory but pristine in the evidence we have for our actions — the pictures, the words written down. An email search can instantly unearth a seven-year-old to-do list. A camera can quietly hold a whole year of friends’ faces as it sits on a shelf. But to look ahead — there’s a wild territory, one we can predict up and down, but one that’s not ours till we live it. And if you’re still with me here, I will tell you: that’s where we found Leverage Models.
This music — this song “Dreaming of Accidents”– is both familiar and like nothing we’ve ever heard before. The moods and the remarks stack up like crazy; these are sounds we’ve heard, sounds we’ve even scorned, sounds that have broken through the ceilings of popularity the world over. And the production is perfect. This is Shannon singing? This is Shannon playing these instruments? This is the music Shannon left New York City to make? Yes, yes, and yes. By definition, it’s a thoughtful solo debut, born in a rural refuge after years of living and learning — but I’m willing to bet it’s unlike any you’ve heard in a long time.
So take it, pass it around, and just try not to get excited about the next thing coming from Leverage Models. We promise not to make you wait too long.