It took one listen to "Asleep Between Stations" to make me a fan of The Leaf Library. The track, the first one on the band's new album Daylight Versions, out October 30 via WIAIWYA, is a droning, surging jam reminiscent of the best Switched On-era Stereolab mixed with the early Medicine stuff. Alternately hypnotic and a little rough, the cut immediately grabbed my attention. The rest of Daylight Versions is pretty darn good too.
I hesitate to highlight only certain aspects of the band's sound 'cause cuts like "Tilting" and "Slow Spring" present a gentler style of music that's closer to a trippy Everything But The Girl than anything else, like the previously mentioned Stereolab. Kate Gibson's vocals anchor these tracks and others on this album. If the instrumentation sometimes seems a bit noodling when the band is not in the grasp of a strong hook, Gibson's voice is the thing that makes the music of The Leaf Library consistently interesting.
If "Rings of Saturn" is possibly drawing on the early stuff from Luna for direction, then the haunting folk-rock of "Summer Moon" takes inspiration from both The Velvet Underground and Virginia Astley -- noise-rock meets English pastoral pop.
Daylight Versions has many compelling moments that are gonna get this band compared to Stereolab but the truth is that there's more variety here than just songs that sound like that lot. The Leaf Library are making compelling, gentle music that insinuates itself with a listener. Daylight Versions by The Leaf Library is out on October 30 via WIAIWYA.
Follow The Leaf Library via the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Michael Wood]