Thursday, July 26, 2012

Artist of the Day: The Album Leaf

A favorite ambient / post-rock band of mine, The Album Leaf has calmed down since their string of releases in the early half of the 2000's. However, there's a lot to love about the band, even with only a single full-length released in the past six years. Similar to sitting in the park to watch the sunrise and waiting for the rest of the world to awaken around you, the formerly-solo project of Jimmy LaValle features music that lays in the background, at times, but can be instantly recognizable if you simply listen, for a moment.

Music released by The Album Leaf isn't really easy to define by genre - it doesn't fall solely into the post-rock category, because it doesn't bring a tremendous amount of volume or buildup whenever it rolls through; it can't be seen as completely ambient, because it has quite a large presence when you recognize it; the music is certainly not only electronica, because it features too much of an acoustic presence; but isn't entirely folk either, because there are synthesizers and electronic beats as well. In addition to the multitude of individualizing qualities are instruments like traditional keys, glockenspiel, violin, organ, and a whole platter of other electronic sounds that forge a uniquely layered sound that is very compressed and incorporates a lot, but feels light, airy, and spacious.

The quality of their music is incredible, as well. The entirety of Into The Blue is a thoughtful, pensive work that has the power to stir up the deepest of emotions, the kind we bury away in safe vaults of our hearts and try never to rustle again. Other albums, like In A Safe Place, and An Orchestrated Rise To Fall, bring distant memories back to us; some of them are joyful experiences, such as playing in the sun as a child, or swimming on a lake and discovering your true definition of nature, and what it means to you - while others bring on a moment of loss, of weakness, of real humanity. And experiencing these memories through music make them some of the most powerful and memorable thoughts of all. LaValle brings us ourselves, not as we want to be someday or used to be, but as we are, and that's a really important part of The Album Leaf, just as it's an important part of continual self-improvement. We grow, we learn, we forget, we remember, and we move on.

Sample The Album Leaf on MySpace, and Facebook. Or any way you can. I urge you. It's an incredible experience.

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