Before launching the solo ambient project The Album Leaf in 1999, Jimmy LaValle made a ton of noise in a handful of hardcore bands, most notably Swing Kids and The Locust. But it's his solo effort that's brought LaValle the most attention and acclaim.
What started with 1999's An Orchestrated Rise To Fall, The Album Leaf has grown into a meticulously sound designed act, capable of incorporating a combination of old and new sounds to create euphoric melodies. Now with Between Waves — The Album Leaf's sixth full-length album, and its first since 2010's A Chorus Of Storytellers — we get a deep sense of LaValle's composition-driven music.
Between Waves is primarily instrumental album, combining shimmering production with the obvious influences of ambient and krautrock. The album kicks off with “False Dawn”, a minimal and intimate introduction lays the groundwork for clean lines of melody. Other songs follow the same basic template, with crisp production and retro drum machine fills and ‘80s-era synths. But it doesn't get cheesy or too nostalgic, the hooks are timeless and reminiscent.
Lyrics eventually make their way in by Between Waves' third track, “New Soul”. Like a lot of the music, the lyrics live comfortably within the arrangements and never feel forced. Ultimately, Between Waves is a beautiful collection of euphoric melodies and emotionally charged soundscapes from a longstanding innovator.
Between Waves comes out this Friday, August 26th. Watch the official music video for "Between Waves" below.