The Leaf Library - Daylight Versions - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Leaf Library - Daylight Versions

by David Bruggink Rating:8 Release Date:2015-11-06
Just as the autumn chill is beginning to assert itself comes an album that seems tailor made for a crisp Sunday spent indoors. It’s a tad endearing to discover a new band that crafts music this unpretentiously, but the Leaf Library admirably bring to mind the halcyon state of indie rock in the late 90’s - the sheer warmth of the chiming guitars and the untrained but heartfelt vocals can’t help but conjure such indie touchstones as Death Cab for Cutie’s We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes and Yo La Tengo’s I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One.
The London-based band are no mere emo-obsessed copyists, though, and after the lilting melodies of ‘Slow Spring’ they take an intriguing turn towards the contemplative and make good on their admitted interest in Talk Talk, resulting in the near-hypnotic ambience of ‘Acre’. It’s the good kind of repetitive, seven minutes that one could perhaps listen to for an entire day and emerge from a little bit closer to enlightenment. 
Though they certainly have a gift for laying down memorable melodies when they want to, the Leaf Library tend to eschew thickly applied emotions in favor of transfixing drones, as on the brilliant ‘Rings of Saturn’. Main vocalist Kate Gibson sings extended notes that are often the perfect compliment to the swirling clouds of noise in the background, more My Bloody Valentine than Stereolab. At other times, vocals untreated, she comes off as a sort of modest, bookish girl-next-door, albeit one more authentic than Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura. 
The Leaf Library have a refreshing optimism for a band that uses distortion pedals from time to time, and while their more carefree songs like 'Summer Moon' and 'Tilting' are enjoyable, it's with mesmerizing tracks like 'Evening Gathers' and 'Acre' that they truly cast an affecting spell.

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