Longtime solo performer Jeff Smith goes the group route with Living Body.
Body Is Working, the debut long-player from Leeds, England's Living Body, kicks off with “Declaration of Independence,” a seven-plus minute opus where frontman Jeff Smith sings of “breaking through locks and smashing windows,” seemingly tracing the trail of devastation accompanying his escape.
But for the Chicago-born Smith, Living Body actually functions as quite the opposite, with the longtime solo performer, who spent years touring and recording under the Juffage moniker, recruiting past collaborators Katie Harkin (Harkin, Wild Beasts) and Tom Evans (Vessels) for a planned one-off performance that ended up inspiring the formation of a robust, five-piece band (Alice Rowan and Sarah Statham complete the current lineup).
Despite the additional manpower, Living Body songs don't overpower listeners, with the musicians instead favoring slow builds, extended droning passages and soundtrack-y instrumental cuts like “Heirloom,” which mirrors the feel of morning frost gradually melting as the sun cracks the night sky. Catch the band now, as Smith said in an email to Alive that this might be the only time the group tours the States.