Get back into The Album Leaf. - Oh My Rockness

Recommended Show

Get back into The Album Leaf.

February 12, 2008
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Before everyone (including Hollywood) was fawning over the cinematic melodies of Austin's Explosions in the Sky, The Album Leaf were the reigning kings of instrumental inspiration.

This exquisite San Diego band, essentially the one-man show of Jimmy LaVelle, has been playing melancholy better than anyone since, well, LaVelle's previous band, Tristeza. (LaVelle was also a member of Swing Kids and the Locust, and they're pretty too, but more in a rip-your-head-off sort of way.)

Mostly instrumental, heavy on the melody, and light on tiresome ambient-friendly beep-clicks, The Album Leaf's music evokes forgotten dreams, regret, love lost and fading memories, yet still somehow manages to be uplifting.

LaVelle's graceful songs soar without manipulation by balancing melody and complexity. Guitars and keys duel it out to see who can produce the more beautiful note, a battle that is typically too close to call. Seeing them live is like listening to their albums. You're not sure if you're happy or you're sad, but it feels really good.

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The Album Leaf play The Echo, on Wednesday, February 20th.

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