Local Wire

The Album Leaf

Jimmy LaValle has made music in the past with some interesting bands (Tristeza and Black Heart Procession chief among them), but the best thing that ever happened to him — and listeners, too — was when members of cosmic art-rockers Sigur Rós discovered one of the discs he'd recorded under his nom-de-bedroom-pop the Album Leaf, and invited him to their Iceland studio to collaborate and record. There, he injected space and a pacific pace into his mainly instrumental, piano/guitar/drum-programmed compositions, dropped in some strings and otherworldly voices, and the resultant In a Safe Place (2004) was an expansive, ethereal winner. Into the Blue Again, released last September, doesn't stray too much from its predecessor — gauzy melodies unfurl slowly and warmly, and are satisfyingly atmospheric — but there are a few more conventionally structured (with vocals) indie-rock numbers present as well. Which should keep the crowd, as well as the five-member Album Leaf live lineup, on its toes for the duration of what promises to be a graceful, stellar set.
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Michael Alan Goldberg