Comprised of Thad Cockrell (vocals) and Jeremey Lutito (drums, production and programming), the Nashville, TN-based electro pop duo Leagues captured the attention of both mainstream media outlets and the blogosphere with the 2012 release of their self-titled debut EP and its follow-up You Belong Here — thanks to the massive success of singles “Spotlight” and “Walking Backwards,” which saw significant radio airplay. Other songs from both the EP and You Belong Here also made appearances in several TV shows, films and commercials.
Although slated for a September 9, 2016 release through Dualtone Records, You Belong Here‘s highly anticipated follow-up Alone Together can actually trace its origins back to 2014 when the duo of Cockrell and Lutito wrote, revised and recorded it almost immediately after the release of their critically applauded debut; however, as soon as the duo finished the album, they had an unshakable, sinking feeling that the album wasn’t right. As Thad Cockrell explains in press notes “It’s hard to see when you’re in the middle of that process, but I think we both had this growing feeling that we weren’t saying everything we wanted to say and weren’t pushing each musically to do all we could do. So we had to wipe the slate clean and start over.” Wholly produced by Lutito, the duo set around reworking and re-imaginging some of the previously recorded material off the initial Alone Together sessions and completely new songs — and as you hear on the album’s latest single “Lipstick Coffee,” the duo have come up with material that’s accessible and anthemic while being sonically dense and challenging as the duo pack the song with buzzing and undulating synths, a sinuous bass line, complex syncopation, Cockrell’s seductive, come-hither crooning, distorted electronic bleeps, beeps and bloops, and an incredibly surprising trap house bridge consisting of enormous boom-bap beats and bass drops. Sonically, the latest single reminds me of the sense of awe I had when I first heard Garbage‘s first two albums — in which every single time I hear the song I notice some deeper nuance that I somehow hadn’t noticed; however, you wind up hearing a wild array of influences from hip-hop, funk, soul, electro pop, trap being seamlessly meshed into something strangely familiar and alien.