Leisure are definitely an unassuming bunch.

On a glorious day in leafy North London. two parts of the band are tucked away by the fireplace down the local pub. Nick head down, nose in a good book, whilst Anya grabs a Becks Blue after a frabjous Pride weekend in Barcelona. Yet, for a band so seemingly at ease, they've been honing their craft since sixth form - a time when they didn't really know how to even play their instruments but there was undoubtedly an innate connection.

"I remember Anya stopping me in the corridor and showing me that she'd written a song and I thought 'Shit, this is good'", jokes Nick. Since those days of diary etches and school yard yarns, the pair have stuck together for the past thirteen years and, unsurprisingly, their sound has grown up with them; everything from intense ska (where they would meet singer and keyboardist, Beth of the band) to more muted ukulele. But it was after university, where the nucleus of Leisure was born. "After we left uni and moved down to London, we sort of drifted for a bit. But it didn't feel right to not be playing music together which is when I phoned up Nick and said 'I've got this new idea for a band. Would you be willing to start it with me?'," Anya recalls.

As the two of them chat through their natural reunion, it's clear that there's a commonality in understanding the basics, and the creative approach of stripping something back to the bare bones. The same could be said for this setup, sat with the two of them, the heart and veins of the group, and it's this coming together of minds and moments that forms the pulse of E Numbers.


"It's a group of people playing together at a certain point in their lives, trying to make sense of things."

Wunmi Onibudo (Art Direction by Emily Barker)


"By the time we got to the mixtape, it was an expression of having lots of different ideas and unfinished songs, half thought thoughts and half felt emotions," Anya reflects. Having worked with seasoned vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and Wah Wah 45s producer, Adam Scrimshire, the band also picked up pointers from their first full-length EP in terms of structuring songs and finding hooks within things.

And E-Numbers is just that. At times, it feels so intimate, immersed in the solitude of personal poetry snatched from notes written for reflection rather than rhapsody. At others, prying into a long distance relationship with the distracting cascade of a Skype ringtone trilling around your ears. "'Mexico' is about juxtaposing the idea of being stuck at home when someone else is thousands of miles away, experiencing something so different," Nick remarks. Not too dissimilar to the band's recording process. Almost a scrapbook of a time, there are moments captured from dictaphones which conjure up ghostly scenes of early rehearsal recordings and the shape-shifting guise of a band at its very early stages. "There's something weird that technology does to you now where it really plays with your sense of proximity and distance, and the tape explores how that feels," adds Anya.

For a band that have been writing and performing together for over a decade, the other love affair that's never quite been out of shot is technology and their decision to release another mixtape. We're a generation, after all, who grew up revelling in tape making, whether you were recording your favourite chart hits crouched over the radio on a Sunday evening or studiously constructing the perfect brew of beats to woo that teen dream crush and clearly demonstrate your expansive understanding of grunge circa 1992-1994.

Wunmi Onibudo (Art Direction by Emily Barker)


From tape came the much-maligned MiniDisc, through to the steadfast CD and head first into the stream. In fact, the stream has already boosted the industry after decades of relentless decline, thanks to platforms such as Spotify and Apple Inc. But what's the point of a top ten if it's dominated by the listings from one album? There's no call for a Sunday night sit in for that, is there? With all of this, there's something to be said for a band like Leisure taking that step to craft their music so stoically - a real handheld artefact - and go back to those basics the pair knows so well: "When we were younger, we had so much energy, we would do mental songs with several different time signatures," Anya jokes. "And then when we started Leisure with Beth and Jon, we were like 'No'. Let's strip everything back to its bare minimum and see what that feels like," Nick adds.

Perhaps that's it, though. Becoming so dependent on documenting our every move or memory, we forget to just embrace serendipity. Maybe we all need to get a bit more leisurely and take a step back to make something you can truly be happy with. Stumbling into such a sweet spot, Nick confesses: "I am most proud of are the bits that happened accidentally. You know, this piece of instrumental doesn't really work all that well on its own so I'll see what happens when I put one of Anya's poems over it and it ends up sounding lovely."

For Leisure, E-Numbers is all about figuring out how to put the material out there in different ways. As the light wavers outside on our evening and the rain threatens to fall, conversation settles on how people might, in turn, tune into the new release in different ways: "I'm super interested to see how people take it and the reason for that is it's intentionally ambiguous," Anya beams whilst Nick is characteristically more humble of the record's overall takeaway: "It's a group of people playing together at a certain point in their lives, trying to make sense of things." And that's a rhythm we can all hear, loud and clear.

E-Numbers is out now on For Sake of Tapes and available to purchase in cassette tape form via Bandcamp.