Deriving their name from the name of the famed Icelandic explorer, believed by many to have been the first Westerner to reach the shores of the Americas, the London-based indie rock quintet Leif Erikson have developed a reputation in their native UK for crafting what they’ve described as “quietly emotive, effortlessly, exploratory Transatlantic pop” centered around disarmingly honest, thoughtful lyrics based on intimate observation and personal experience, but interestingly enough as you’ll hear on “Concrete and Steel,” off their self-titled debut mini-album, slated for an August 25, 2017 through Arts & Crafts Records, the British-quintet’s sound, to my ears at least, reminds me quite a bit of Gold Coast, Australia-based JOVM mainstays FAIRCHILD as the band pairs an atmospheric arrangement featuring shimmering guitar chords, four-on-the-floor drumming, soaring synths and an rousing hook with plaintive falsetto vocals. However, in the case of “Concrete and Steel,” the song is a aching and meditative rumination on trying to make it as an artist in one of the world’s biggest cities while juggling the daily struggles of surviving — sometimes with a soul-sucking day job. But at the heart of the song is a narrator, who is doing whatever they have to do to survive and make their dream become reality, suggesting that on occasion you have to seek freedom and spiritual sustenance whenever and wherever you can find it.
The recently released animated music video features people, who are drawn like ants marching single file unceasingly day and night towards a city where they never escape — and in some way, the city is viewed as cruel and unforgiving. The visuals further emphasize the narrator’s desperate struggle to survive and make himself known as a unique person in arguably difficult circumstances.