Shannon Hemmett is best known for playing synths and contributing vocals in Vancouver-based post punk outfit and JOVM mainstays ACTORS. Back in 2016, Hemmett stepped out into the spotlight as a solo artist with her synth pop project LEATHERS.
With her first few singles as LEATHERS, saw Hemmett develop and then hone her own take on synth pop: 2016’s debut single “Missing Scene” channeled early 4AD Records-era Cocteau Twins. 2017’s “Day For Night” featured a softer, glittering hue that caught the attention of outlets like Diamond Deposits, I Die: You Die and Impose Magazine.
Those singles appeared on last year’s LEATHERS debut Reckless EP, which was released to praise from Post-Punk.com, Synthpop Fanatic, I Die: You Die, CBC Radio 3 and Exclaim!, who wrote that the EP was “pulsing eighth-note bass, mascara-streaked goth melodies and ’80s-worshipping pop sweetness” — while landing on their Essential Releases for August 2021.
Hemmett’s latest LEATHERS single “Runaway” is her first bit of new material since the release of Reckless EP. Featuring glistening synth arpeggios, rapid-fire four-on-the-floor, tweeter and woofer rattling thump, and an insistent motorik groove, paired with Hemmett’s plaintive, yearning delivery and her uncanny knack for crafting an infectious, razor sharp hook, “Runaway” is a slickly produced and swooning pop confection that’s lovingly indebted to 80s pop.
Directed by frequent ACTORS collaborator Wayne Moreheart, the accompanying video for “Runaway” nods to classic-era MTV pop videos: Hemmett and a backing band performing the video in a sparse studio with soft pink light, a wind machine and endlessly falling balloons. While being a bright splash of color, the video is about breaking free from mundane routines, letting go and just having fun.