The Album Leaf - Into The Blue Again

The Album Leaf have gone about their business for four records and a couple of EP's, quietly creating beautifully simplistic and haunting musical soundscapes that have only recently seen them break into the public conscious, especially with their previous and much vaunted album, In A Safe Place, which included contributions from Sigur Ros.

Into The Blue Again sees Jimmy LaValle strip back The Album Leaf to it's roots and as an out and out solo project, LaValle playing virtually all the instruments here. What this has meant is that this album lacks the embellished sounds of the previous album and the grandeur allowed him through his collaborators. The songs are beautifully and sparsely arranged with simple drums, organs and keyboards as the main musical devices. A couple of the songs here see the return of LaValle's singing voice, quiet and somewhat strained, it doesn't quite fit the musical perfectly, but offers a nice contrast to the dreamy feel of the songs.

There's a number of real highlights on this album - Red Eye, which easily conjures up the atmosphere and image of a trans-Atlantic commute through it's sparse keyboards and shuffling percussion, Shine with it's shuffling beats and floating piano line and the opening track The Light which sets the scene for what follows with it's echoing electronica and quiet keyboards.

This is an album for lazy Sunday Autumnal mornings, lying in bed as the sun rises and hits the clouds, the light scattering through the red and brown colours of the leaves. It may not reach the heights of In A Safe Place, but this is a very different beast that's more laid back and intricately arranged. It doesn't shake you from your slumbers; more gently warms and coaxes you into the blue again.

View the video for Always For You here and a video of the making of the album here.

Overall

7

out of 10
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