Cleveland-based Dead Leaves are releasing their debut album, Vultures, on Friday, Aug. 25 via Take This To Heart Records, and today they’re streaming the album early—and sharing the story about how their powerful, vulnerable debut came to be.
“The entire record is about vulnerability,” vocalist Elliott Blair explains. “Every song on the new record touches on some form of vulnerability. For example, ‘Talk Me Down’ is about building trust back up with someone that you’ve lost trust with. ‘Sunrise’ is about alzheimer's and losing touch with yourself; being vulnerable in the grand sun.”
The vulnerability isn’t anything new to Dead Leaves, who have always been boldly honest in their offerings. For the band, it’s their sonic delivery that has been discovered and solidified on this release.
“It wasn’t intentional at first. We were playing with a couple new songs that we had written and decided after one or two songs that that was the direction we wanted to go,” Blair says.
“The EP we had released had cleaner guitars and slower songs, leaning more towards the indie side. We decided that when we were going to record this record, we were going to go add as much as we could production-wise. It wasn’t an intentional thing when we first started writing the new songs, but we wrote a couple and just started going with it.”
And the sonic discovery resulted in an emotionally-laden record that, from start to finish, they are wholly proud of.
Hear Dead Leaves’ debut right now, and get to know the band below:
What were you were listening to while you were writing Vultures?
Blair: I was listening to a lot of Jimmy Eat World. I’ve always listened to Jimmy Eat World, but I really got back into that during the writing process. We were listening to a lot of ‘90s bands, Superdrag, the Weakerthans, which are one of my favorite bands, so they were big influences for this record. I’m sure the stuff we were listening to had a pretty big influence on us while we were writing.
What three words would you use to describe your sound?
I would describe our sound as lazy emo pop. Lazy because a lot of our songs are laid back, emo because we have emo roots, and pop because we like simplicity in song structure.
Who would be your dream collaborator?
My writing has been heavily influenced by Say Anything and it would be amazing to collaborate with Max Bemis. …Is A Real Boy and In Defense Of The Genre shaped the way I think about writing and music in general.
If you could create a dream tour for Dead Leaves to hop on, who would it be with?
It's almost impossible to give just one band that would be a dream to tour with. I think my top three for a dream tour would be Jimmy Eat World, Say Anything or Brand New. All three are big influences for me, and the opportunity to tour with any of them would be amazing.
Vultures is currently available for preorder here.
Check out their full list of forthcoming tour dates below:
Sept. 1 – Cleveland, OH @ The Foundry
Sept. 2 – Syracuse, NY @ Spark Art Space
Sept. 3 – Brooklyn, NY @ Gold Sounds
Sept. 4 – Attleboro, MA @ Patterson Creations
Sept. 5 – Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs
Sept. 6 – Westfield, MA @ Shenanigans
Sept. 7 – Baltimore, MD @ Sidebar
Sept. 8 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Park Brewery
Sept. 9 – Philadelphia, PA @ House Show
Sept. 10 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Four Chord Music Festival
Oct. 21 – Shot Fest @ Donato's Basement @ Columbus, OH
Oct. 22 – Harry's House @ Nashville, TN
Oct. 23 – WonderRoot @ Atlanta. GA
Oct. 24 – Unofficial Pre-Pre Fest @ Will's Pub @ Orlando, FL
Oct. 25 – Pre-Fest @ Ybor City, FL
Oct. 26 – Planet Sarbez @ St. Augustine, FL
Oct. 27 – The Fest @ Gainesville, FL
What are your thoughts on Dead Leaves' Vultures? Let us know in the comments below!