When I pressed play on Luke Leighfield's 'New Season', my first thought was how it brought me back to New Found Glory's underrated 'Coming Home'. Much like parts of 'Coming Home', 'New Season' brings on piano-led pop rock pleasers with a straight-forward approach to the lyrics and a knack for spirit-rousing melodies.
But that's where the New Found Glory comparisons end. Leighfield will probably be more comfortable being mentioned in the same category as Ben Folds, Jack's Mannequin, and Coldplay. For a 24-year-old, Leighfield is a very seasoned musician, with 3 albums and hundreds of shows under his belt before 'New Season'. This is evident from his songwriting, which comes off as well-polished and earnest with a maturity not usually seen at this age (this coming from a fellow 24-year-old).
The whole album is filled with energy, embodying the orchestral powerpop ethic Leighfield claims to carry. Songs like 'Live For More' and 'It's You' drive the point home with rousing choruses and feel-good lyrics. Even when it takes its foot off the accelerator, the tracks still carry with them an unmistakably cheery, life-embracing sound that comes off as likable and even at times spiritual.
I've never been comfortable with the label 'singer/songwriter', as for me it carries the connotation of acoustic guitar-carrying singers peddling the same old songs, and trying to get away with as many Oasis covers as possible. Now I certainly can't place Luke Leighfield in the same category. This is an excellent pop album bursting with potential house party anthems which brings into it a depth and sincerity missing in so many other so-called singer/songwriters.