After the tracks “Tennessee” and “Zero Sum”, both published in 2021, independent Maryland band Leisure Sport have finally released their debut EP, Title Card. Consisting of five tracks, Title Card is a revigorating, yet somewhat introspective work. The sound leans toward indie rock and power pop, and the combination of exhilarating drums and layering guitars creates an atmosphere that fits sunsets on the beach or the top of a mountain. It’s music to be listened to in the open, with lots of space for the fuzzy, ethereal instruments and long-note melodies to reverberate.
But, for another side, the lyrics in Title Card take an outside-looking-in approach. “Comfort lies in strangers / who make you walk the space between your heads,” they sing in “Tennessee”. It is a nice opening for the EP and sets the tone for the following tracks. Lyrical moments like “I can’t hear you / Let me out” (in “Tennessee”), “I don’t care what you say about me” (in “Zero Sum”), and “My hands are weak” (in “Lost and Found”), are matched by melodies shaped in the form of screams, but vocally performed with some containment that sounds rather delicate than poorly performed.
Searching for comfort outside the self is an overall arch in the songs off Title Card, even though the songs do not necessarily suggest that this is a successful method to achieve peace of mind. In “Stones”, the band sing, “Do you ever feel like the headaches come after daylight? / Forcing out the silence, who knows if we’ll make it out alive?”, and in the next track, “Lost and Found”, they sing, “Screaming inside / Take me outside.”
Title Card is closed by “Images”, the closest to an angry, dark track in the debut, with even some echoes of emo rock — “Dear ghost in the wall / How can I take you home?”, they sing in the chorus. The track ends with a long instrumental section, leaving space for the listener to engage with the music in just the same kind of pensive immersion presented throughout the entire EP.
Leisure Sport have been around since 2018, and reportedly have said to be taking their time to craft their sound and identity. Their debut shows the band are off to a good start.