When Shannon Fields emailed, interested in playing an Epitonic saki Session for his new project Leverage Models with a link to the new album, we confirmed the performance before listening to a single track. Beyond being a close friend to us here at Epitonic, Shannon is an accomplished NYC-based musician whose previous proven a broad range of talent in both pop and complex orchestration in The Silent League and also the improvisational avant-garde of Stars Like Fleas. Fields moved to a farm in upstate New York which undoubtedly spawned the more studio isolationist sound of Leverage Models.
After two discreet EP’s, Interim Deliverable and Forensic Accounting, Fields and his backing band hit the road on an extensive tour in support of his third EP, a 2012’s Cooperative Extensions. All three EP’s have been released by Hometapes and conjure up shades of 80s new wave and synth pop akin pinnacle acts of that era like Talking Heads and New Order.
Leverage Models took the stage at saki with an array of pre-recorded backing instruments laying a foundation of reverbed-out synths and drums, garnished with the occasional meandering saxophone line. The backing band took hold of each track with wild flourishes of roto-toms, guitars drenched with chorus, and driving bass. Meanwhile, Fields was a dynamo, stalking and dancing around our intimate setting with an arsenal of percussion and delivering a vocal performance, often through a megaphone, mirroring each song performed from his EPs. All of which made for a fun afternoon, and a set of recordings to inspire teasing your hair up with a can of hair spray, donning that skinny keyboard tie, and dancing the night away.