Monday, January 18, 2010

Leif Vollebekk - Inland

Photo by: Caroline Desilets

Leif Vollebekk's debut album Inland is being re-released through Nevado Records this week on Jan. 19th, which is just as well because it seems that not enough of us, myself included, paid the deserved attention to him the first time around.

Folk singer-songwriters have the difficult task of standing out from all of the other folk singer-songwriters in existence. Everyone and their mom is a singer-songwriter so it takes a little extra special something to get noticed among the sea of bed-head hair styles, beat-up guitars and soulful facial expressions. And while I'm sure that Leif already has, and can pull off all those mentioned above exceptionally well, there is a certain quality to his music that goes above and beyond the generic expectations.

Inland is a collection of songs arranged and performed with a simple and understated sort of elegance. On top of providing a unique voice to his songs, Leif integrates guitars, pianos, violins and a very powerful harmonica to create warm, contemplative soundscapes, all without compromising modesty or honesty. It never becomes overcrowded, or overcomplicated with instrumentation or themes that try to sound larger than life, a fault that emerging artists too often get caught up in. There is heartache in this album, but it's not glorified into something unrecognizable. Its presence is undeniable and familiar, just like you and I know it to be. This kind of gentle familiarity, particularly in tracks like In the Midst of Blue and Green and Don't Go to Klaksvik remind us that, yes, heartbreak is out there, but it's bearable. Even poetic and beautiful if you let it be.

Leif Vollebekk - Don't Go To Klaksvik (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

The re-release of Inland on iTunes, available on Jan. 19th, will include a new live recording of Don't Go to Klaksvik and a previously unreleased track called Te og Kaffi.

Leif Vollebekk will be in Toronto on Jan. 22nd to celebrate the CD release at the Cameron House. Although I haven't seen his live show yet, I will say that every show I've been to with a brass section and a stand-up bass has been very enjoyable. Leif's band includes both. So I guess I'll see you there, right?


Anonymous said...

on his myspace right now, it sounds WONDERFUL and beautiful! thanks for sharing,

- the wolf & the sheep

Heimir said...

Video that i made,old news footage from Klaksvik with Don't go to Klaksvik in the background...Check it out !!