Leif Vollebekk — New Ways (Nov. 1, 2019)
ς•ς Album, které odměňuje dlouhodobé posluchače, ale stejně komfortní je pro sdílení srdcového zlomu s nováčky. „New Ways“ Leifa Vollebekka je překvapivým, intimním záznamem, který je ponořeno hluboko do jeho světa. Vollebekk přijímá hvězdné obsazení přispěvatelů, s mixem legendárního Chrisa Allena. S Olivierem Fairfieldem (Timber Timbre) a Homerem Steinweissem (The Dap~Kings, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson) na bicí, obsahuje také další vokály od rychle rostoucí Angie McMahon, podpořil ji na jejím turné po Austrálii. New Ways is the sound of desire in its unfolding — whereas Twin Solitude was about self~reflection, New Ways is about engaging and changing, touching and being touched. It’s a physical record, with louder and tighter grooves, and the rawest lyrics the musician has ever recorded — tenderness and violence, sex and rebirth, Plato and Julie Delpy. There’s the heat of the night and the cool blue of morning, hints of Prince and Bill Withers.
Born: Ottawa, Ontario
Location: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Album release: November 1, 2019
Record Label: Secret City
01. The Way That You Feel
02. Never Be Back
03. Hot Tears
04. Transatlantic Flight
06. Blood Brother
08. I’m Not Your Lover
09. Wait A While
10. Apalachee Plain
• All songs written and arranged by Leif Vollebekk
• Recorded at Breakglass Studios, Montreal by David Smith, except The Way That You Feel, Wait A While, and Apalachee Plain recorded at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles by Steve Genewick, assisted by Jeff Fitzpatrick
• Mixed by Chris Allen, except Never Be Back and Hot Tears mixed by Chris Shaw with additional mixing by Chris Allen
• Mastered by Greg Calbi
• Produced by Leif Vollebekk
• Artwork by Olivia Baldwin
• Photography by Vanessa Heins
• Design by Andrew Robinson
• Published by Secret City Publishing Inc.
• 2019 Secret City Records Inc.
By Kaitlin Ruether ς•ς Published Oct 31, 2019 ς•ς Score: 9
ς•ς It’s been nearly three years since Leif Vollebekk‘s Polaris Music Prize~shortlisted Twin Solitude shone a spotlight on his talent for emotive ballads. Now, the artist returns with a record that comes from the same energy, but spices up his collective output.
ς•ς New Ways was written alongside and in the aftermath of Twin Solitude, and you can hear an equivalent sense of grand emotion on “Hot Tears” and “Apalachee Plain.” On the former, the artist finds a ticking beat and catchy repetitions that made previous hit “Elegy” such a success. The latter revels in spaciousness and draws from experiences on the road, both key elements of Vollebekk’s sound. Where New Ways soars most prominently into fresh territory is when Vollebekk allows himself to blend pop~soul beats into the mix.
ς•ς You can sense the artist’s avid appreciation of Prince and Bill Withers in the groove and vocal playfulness.
ς•ς On “Blood Brother,” the intensity is kicked up for a jauntier blend, complete with electric guitar reverberation. “My life is on the radio / they’re saying it’s a dream,” he sings, and you can’t help but note that even with the shift in scope, Vollebekk is laying a piece of himself down. The same could be said for the more anxiously rhythmic “Never Be Back,” which pulls the colour blue into its palette and showcases Vollebekk’s vocal aptitude, while streaming lyrics that make you feel as though you are eavesdropping.
ς•ς The remarkable feat of New Ways is the ability to both resonate with those who loved Twin Solitude, while also pushing tendrils out towards listeners in search of more versatility. Though the record stands tall on its own, time will tell us if this is a transitional moment towards something new, or the completing half of a pair.
James Ayles, 15:10 30th October 2019, Score: 8
• Inland (2010)
• North Americana (2013)
• Twin Solitude (2017)
• New Ways (2019)