You’ve GOT to Hear This: Leif Vollebekk – “Twin Solitude”

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Leif Vollebekk

Towards the end of the 20th century, a boozy dinner party wasn’t complete unless Morcheeba’s Big Calm was playing in the background. It was and still is a sophisticated record and it’s classy melodies and innovative soundscapes were the perfect accompaniment for a late-night soiree. Fast forward almost two decades and I can imagine Leif Vollebekk’s new record Twin Solitude being the record of choice for the discerning host, offering it’s own slice of ‘big calm’. The two albums are poles apart thematically as well as stylistically, but both posses intoxicating qualities that have the ability to take the listener on a vast and satisfying journey and if you allow it, Twin Solitude will introduce you to a novel’s worth of intriguing characters populating the charismatic landscapes of North America along the way.

Despite drawing attention for a particularly smoky version of The Killers’ Read My Mind on his debut record North Americana, Vollebekk is a storyteller of Dylanesque proportions first and foremost and the record allows this to come to the fore by surrounding his intimate tales with warm, minimalistic arrangements that draw the listener in, in their engrossingly fragile simplicity.

Jazzy and soulful throughout, with sharper electric tones on tracks like East of Eden, the record feels like a sombre road trip across a cold, lean landscape that begins with the gorgeous Vancouver Time and traverses the delicate Big Sky Country before passing through the acoustic magic of Michigan and the solemn vistas of Telluride. The journey comes to Rest which is the longest song on the record and the shimmering harps that gradually come in to focus as the the track winds it’s way towards its conclusion offer a sense of optimism and light and is the perfect way to conclude what is ultimately a very beautiful record

Leif Vollebekk is currently on another epic road trip across mainland Europe and is due to arrive in the UK on March 25th before arriving in North America in April.


MAR 13 MON. LaLoca. Prague, Czech Republic

MAR 14 TUE. Arena. Vienna, Austria

MAR 16 THU. Magnolia. Milan, Italy

MAR 17 FRI. Bogen F. Zurich, Switzerland

MAR 19 SUN. Strom. Munich, Germany

MAR 20 MON. Kulturkirche. Köln, Germany

MAR 21 TUE. Paradiso. Amsterdam, Netherlands

MAR 22 WED. TRIX BAR. Borgerhout, Belgium

MAR 23 THU. Le Pop Up. Paris, France

MAR 25 SAT. The Haunt. Brighton, United Kingdom

MAR 26 SUN. Thekla. Bristol, United Kingdom

MAR 27 MON. The Bodega. Nottingham, United Kingdom

MAR 28 TUE. King Tut’s. Glasgow, United Kingdom

MAR 29 WED. Mash House. Edinburgh, United Kingdom

MAR 31 FRI. Voodoo. Belfast, Ireland

APR 1 SAT. Academy 2. Dublin, Ireland

APR 2 SUN. The Deaf Institute. Manchester, United Kingdom

APR 3 MON. Islington Assembly Hall. London, United Kingdom

APR 13 THU. Le Cercle. Quebec, Canada

APR 14 FRI. First Baptist Church. Ottawa, Canada

APR 16 SUN. The Great Hall. Toronto, Canada

APR 20 THU. Middle East – Upstairs. Cambridge, MA

APR 21 FRI. World Cafe Live – Upstairs. Philadelphia, PA

APR 25 TUE. The Echo. Los Angeles, CA

APR 26 WED. The Casbah. San Diego, CA

APR 29 SAT. Starline Social Club. Oakland, CA

MAY 1 MON. Doug Fir Lounge. Portland, OR

MAY 3 WED. Sunset Tavern. Seattle, WA

MAY 4 THU. Biltmore Cabaret. Vancouver, Canada

MAY 6 SAT. The Olympic. Boise, ID

MAY 7 SUN. Kilby Court. Salt Lake City, UT

MAY 8 MON. Lost Lake. Denver, CO

MAY 10 WED. 7th Street Entry. Minneapolis, MN

MAY 12 FRI. Schubas Tavern. Chicago, IL

MAY 13 SAT. The Firebird. St Louis, MO

MAY 14 SUN. Zanzabar. Louisville, KY

MAY 16 TUE. Club Cafe. Pittsburgh, PA

***

Follow updates from Leif Vollebekk here.

Review by Iain Fox | @IainFoxPhoto

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