Lonesome Leash is the solo moniker of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Walt McClements. Known for previous involvement in the bands Dark Dark Dark, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship?, Lonesome Leash channels all of these musical experiences into a lean and immaculately disheveled solo affair.
At the end of 2012, McClements found himself at a crossroads, unsure of his place in his longtime home of New Orleans and seeing many long running projects losing momentum. Facing this, he embarked on a manic solo journey, releasing debut LP I am no captain in January of 2013 and playing over 200 shows that year between the US, Mexico, and Europe. A bold introduction to McClements’ musical world, I am no captain trades in the breathless ecstatic joy and fatalistic romanticism that pervades New Orleans, but translates to any location and into any language. Anchored by the sinuous accordion sound that’s become a McClements trademark, the album takes some mad aesthetic stabs, incorporating drum loops, brass flourishes and lush layers of feedback, in the end creating a future-rustic musical aesthetic.
The end of 2013 found McClements releasing a more exploratory follow up EP, One foot in front of the other, and turning a one month pit stop into a new home in Los Angeles. One foot in front of the other pushes out, in all directions, the aesthetic boundaries set in place by the debut album. This finds the EP traveling a vast section of textural ground, where minimalist accordion instrumentals bleed into tense and unsettling lo-fi pop, jagged fanfares punctuate layers of distorted accordions, and driving electronic beats fade into pastoral soundscapes.
With a new album slated for 2015, the end of 2014 finds McClements heading out on the road again, business as usual, with another 3 months of shows in North America and Europe. A new single, “The Night Was Old” has been released in celebration of the next journey.
Perhaps the boldest exercise in the uneasy juxtaposition between the triumphant and the nervous that Lonesome Leash has always explored, McClements has this to say of the new song:
“Some songs grow up alongside their brothers and sisters, creeping out of the same subconscious muck in a certain place, and coming of age around the same time. I think those songs like to live with their song cycle family on an album. Other songs like to live alone. “The Night Was Old” is one of those songs, either too shy or too boisterous to live comfortably next to other songs. The song dropped fully formed into my life one night between tours in a dingy Brooklyn practice space, a bold and flamboyant wannabe house music pop song, complete with bad puns and embarrassingly earnest word play, to take my hand and tell me it was okay, to say sometimes even the biggest of cities are too small to share with a lover who makes you feel a failure, and to say that leaving doesn’t always mean running away, even if you don’t know where you’re going. I took 20 minutes to jot the song down, packed my car, and drove out of town, to where the stars were clearer, and I could lay my head to rest in peace.”