New Zealand quintet Leisure blend a multitude of influences -- ranging from '70s funk, '90s trip-hop and downtempo, and 2000s electronic -- to create a slinky cool soundtrack for hip lounges and bedrooms alike. Emerging from Auckland in the mid-2010s, the band issued their debut album, Leisure, in 2016. A critical and commercial success, they inked a deal with the Nettwerk label, which issued their follow-up, Twister, three years later.
Leisure was formed by Jaden Parkes (formerly of pop-punk band Goodnight Nurse) and Jordan Arts (formerly of pop duo Kids of 88), along with Tom Young, Djeisan Suskov, and Josh Fountain. Together, they released the debut single "Got It Bad" in 2015, followed by "Hot Love" and "Take It to the Top," a trio of seductive groovers that recalled the throwback spirits of Tame Impala and Mark Ronson. These songs landed on Leisure's self-titled debut, which arrived in 2016 and peaked at number two on the New Zealand charts. Signing with Nettwerk, the group then issued a string of singles, including 2017's "Alone Together" and "Money," and 2018's "Feeling Free" and "Falling." Injecting dance-friendly energy into their usual mix, the band delivered more singles in the front half of 2019, leading up to the July release of their sophomore album, Twister. The slinky R&B-indebted single "Slipping Away" marked Leisure's first outing of 2020. ~ Neil Z. Yeung