Today, Leif Vollebekk shares Rest, two new songs available now across all streaming services. In a time of social distancing, life has brought about a forced pause from normal life. It's encouraged some of us, including Leif himself, to reflect more, connect more, rest more. This release compliments that quiet introspection.
The double package highlights the beginning and the end of his critically acclaimed record Twin Solitude. Intro is a never before released song which was originally intended as the first piece on the album. The melody and lyrics, which echoes the song Vancouver Time, came to Leif when he was in a jetlag state, about a month before writing what would be known as the official opening track. The second song is an acoustic version of the ending opus Rest. This version was recorded in Castlemaine, Australia in a spur of the moment with sound engineer Jono Steer. It was recorded exactly a week before the world closed down its borders.
Many dancers have been inspired by Leif’s music and have shared videos online. It's been beautiful to see this time also inspire connection to our bodies through movement. Click here to see dance videos’ featuring Leif’s music.
Last november, Leif Vollebekk released his fourth studio album New Ways which was critically acclaimed. His latest album is a sonic documentation of everything that Leif felt; tenderness and violence, sex and rebirth. "Anything that I wouldn't ever want to tell anyone - I just put it on the record," he says. It was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Breakglass Studios in Montreal, it features Olivier Fairfield (Timber Timbre) and Homer Steinweiss (The Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson) on drums, and additional vocals by Angie McMahon. It was mixed by Chris Allen in NYC (Yoko Ono, Fleet Foxes, Sigur Rós, Margaret Glaspy) and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound (David Byrne, The War On Drugs, Gregory Alan Isakov, Tame Impala, Father John Misty, Bob Dylan, Patrick Watson). The album is now over 11 million streams.
2017’s Twin Solitude was a breakthrough album for Leif, landing a spot on the Polaris Music Prize 2017 shortlist, a Juno nomination and is now at 35 million streams. It was critically acclaimed by Uncut, NPR Music, The Fader, The Sunday Times Culture, The Line of Best Fit, Paste, Brooklyn Vegan, WXPN, KCRW and Exclaim! to only name a few.
Praise for New Ways
"Pensive and restless, blossoming with stream-of-consciousness verses that bear the marks of long nights spent alone on the road" – New York Times
“New Ways is an album confident in its vision and powered by terrific songwriting” - WXPN
“Unhurried observational vividness ....the bittersweet lilt of his voice all tangled up in blue” – Uncut, 8 out of 10
"A transformative journey sweeping the depths of the soul" – Atwood Magazine
“His most elegant album yet” – Rolling Stone France
"Vollebekk’s signature is creating melancholy, yet delightful R&B-tinged folk songs and New Ways does not waver from this standard" – Bandcamp Essential releases
“It’s slow, sensuous and utterly beguiling…brilliant, an unforeseen shift in direction” – Thank Folk For That
4 out of 5 stars - Independent UK
9 out of 10 stars – Exclaim!
“The poetic Canadian composer deepens grooves and strips his instrumental palette to piano,
bass, percussion, and tasteful washes of guitar and violin for this soulful rumination on love” - Pasadena Weekly, 4 out of 5 stars