Leopold and his Fiction: 'Sun's Only Promise'

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A collage of members from Leopold and his Fiction, featuring: Daniel James, Jon Sortland, and Micayla Grace hide caption

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Storytelling is an essential piece of Leopold and His Fiction's sound. According to guitarist and vocalist Daniel James, the San Francisco-based band got its name from a short story he wrote about "a minstrel of sorts with a gift to elaborate on life with word and gesture." Leopold and His Fiction's latest album, Ain't No Surprise, draws on everything from lost loves to "hollow street lights that still call your name."

Even the recording process of Ain't No Surprise has its own narrative. From living rooms, to closets, to attics, "the album was recorded anywhere I could manage to record," says James. James even began visiting a 1920s playhouse in the middle of the night to get in some quality recording time, the effects of which can be heard in the natural reverb that saturates the album.

With its fuzzy guitar riffs, gruff but compelling vocals, and narrative lyrics, Ain't No Surprise sounds a bit like The White Stripes or Jet, with traces of The Who or The Stooges. While the sound is certainly expansive, Leopold and His Fiction also manages to exude a certain kind of folk-tinged, backwoods charm that makes them much more than just a straight up rock-and-roll band.

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