St. Leonards – Slowly Slowly’s second album – is a vivid snapshot of the life of Slowly Slowly frontman Ben Stewart and those closest to him.
Lyrically dense yet restrained instrumentally to allow room for striking imagery and vibrant metaphors, Stewart veers between stream-of-consciousness accounts of futile existence in the city to rich narratives about love, life and the family cornerstone at St. Leonards beach.
Stewart’s love of language and storytelling stems from hours spent dissecting lyrics from the likes of Paul Dempsey, Tim Rogers, Connor Oberst and Kevin Devine. Balancing raw honesty with engaging hooks, there’s the child-like opener “Dinosaurs” and “Aliens” whose thought-purging social commentary sneers at the world through the glummest lens. Elsewhere he examines complicated family dynamics on “The Cold War”, the Tinder-riddled search for happiness on “10 Leaf Clover” and finally it all falling into place on the unapologetically happy ode of “Alchemy”. Throughout St. Leonards, Stewart captures the world around him in full colour.
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