The Album Leaf: A Chorus of Storytellers (SubPop)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Album Leaf: Falling From the Sun
The Album Leaf: A Chorus of Storytellers (SubPop)

This quiet, mostly instrumental and discreetly seductive album by a band with a very confusing name has been slipping back into the player quite a lot recently -- and I suspect it came out a few months ago, but I've only belatedly discovered it.

The Album Leaf has been the on-going project of the San Diego-based songwriter Jimmy LaValle whose music conjures up dream states, ambient atmospherics and post-rock soundtracks for the inner life.

No suprises then to learn that The Album Leaf has recorded with members of Sigur Ros at their studio in Iceland, has opened for Devendra Banhart, wrote and performed the soundtrack for a silent film by Murnau, and has collaborated with Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band. Band member Gram LeBron is also in Port O'Brien, and that makes sense.

Here with whispered sound samples, slow horn-like passages from synthesisers, chiming guitars, an alt.folk consciousness in the songwriting and dreamy, Eno-influenced instrumentals from string sections, The Album Leaf work an area between quasi-classical, post-rock and the briefly brilliant Beta Band on an especially slow day.

Little wonder so much of their music -- this is their fifth album -- appears on so many soundtracks: it is reflective and doesn't impose itself, yet rewards attention.

Seductive, stressless. Recommended.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Surf City: Jekyll Island (Fire/Southbound)

Surf City: Jekyll Island (Fire/Southbound)

On previous albums the Auckland-bred but now much traveled Surf City delivered increasingly impressive opening salvoes and you heard an increasing confidence . . . and a band finding its own voice.... > Read more

Bill Callahan: Dream River (Drag City/Universal)

Bill Callahan: Dream River (Drag City/Universal)

The final song on this short, emotionally dense album finds our weary, baritone narrator driving home in winter, listening to a Donald Sutherland interview on the truck radio as “time... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ERNEST RANGLIN INTERVIEWED (1999): Ska pioneer

ERNEST RANGLIN INTERVIEWED (1999): Ska pioneer

What becomes a legend most? In the case of Ernest Ranglin, good humour and modesty. This legend of Jamaican singlehandedly created ska back in the Fifties; recorded the young Bob Marley;... > Read more

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba: Ba Power (Glitterbeat)

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba: Ba Power (Glitterbeat)

Because, in the Bambara language of Mali, the word “ba” means great or strong, some have suggested the title of this swirling, rock-influenced album alludes to the Stooges' Raw... > Read more