Kieran Leonard is a man of many adventures. The gestation of his debut album as Saint Leonard’s Horses, ‘Good Luck, Everybody’, involved joining cults in Los Angeles, narrowly avoiding death by killer bee in the Mojave desert, kicking back Jim Morrison’s meditation pyramid, necking mescal with Father John Misty and winding up at Stanley Kubrick’s secret mansion, where the whole thing was recorded. As instant mythologies go, Sleaford Mods have got some serious catching up to do.
Able to go no further ‘out’, for the follow-up Leonard simply headed a different direction. This time, eastwards, taking a 24-hour taxi ride to a Himalayan mountaintop to visit The Beatles’ ashram in Rishikesh in India and learn a spot of transcendental meditation from the monks at the Kesi Devar Temple. When he wasn’t narrowly avoiding being eaten alive by mountain tigers and rabid dogs, that is.
The mystical scents picked up by this rock Phileas Fogg on his latest travels infuse his comeback single ‘Light Years’. Although that might be something to do with the haunted Tardis tones that collaborators Josh Hayward of The Horrors and Panda from Toy have been adding to the mix during sessions at The Church in Crouch End. The result is a psych-rock cracker that sounds like the great lost collaboration between Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Spiders From Mars and Sunn 0))), drifting by in a giddy swirl of surreal visions, HG Wells references (“he knows what sells”), inappropriate behaviour at major tourist landmarks (“I undress you on the Bridge Of Sighs”) and space-age philosophies. “I’m an existentialist with an Oxycontin kiss,” Leonard wails at the chorus. We bet he is. ‘Light Years’: ahead of the game.