Written by James Berger
Leif Vollebeck, Montreal singer-songwriter comes out with a sombre and poetic flight of two souls twisted together in their loneliness with new project Twin Solitudes. The project is skeletally bare and the silence of the album is as important as the piano, vocals, drums and strings – it is echoing space not filled, the call without the echo. The fact that Leif is speaking of twin solitudes but with the other half lacking is powerful and tellingly felt. There’s a sense that Leif’s love will write their own Twin Solitudes – making two halves of a distant whole.
There are elements of folk, country, and blues, and the album is subtle in its emotiveness, emotionality, and passion. Similarly, Leif’s voice is controlled but with a sense of airiness, he also manages to mix the album so that the instrumentation sounds distant, isolated from the voice and cast off; working to create a wide but coldly desolate scape for the sound.
Some of the songwriting exhibited here is beautiful, Telluride for example baring the line: ‘as for me I’m surely going to miss my kiss from you/ but I don’t want to spend eternity trying to make you blue’. Though not full of hooks and choruses its melodiousness is certainly memorable.
The last track on the album, Rest, reminds me very much of Radiohead’s Motion Picture Soundtrack off 2000 album Kid A, and the song also reflects some of Roger Waters’ storytelling style on some of the softer songs of Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut.
Twin Solitudes ends upliftingly – there’s hope not despondency, it feels like growth, and puts the rest of the album into perspective – chartering Leif’s emotional recuperation. The fact that its title is Rest is indicative of Leif having tucked this into bed, and that though it may awaken it will do so more passively, and will have its nights. It’s content. Lullaby-like. ‘Rest is as good as sleep’ is a really beautiful and resonating line to complete and overcome the mourning of loss and separation that this album represents. It is the release of the clench; the ghost slips free.
Leif Vollebeck is soon to embark on an extensive world tour starting on February 28th in New York City, comprising of 46 dates, with many in the UK.
You can read our little interview with Vollebekk here.
Watch the official music video for Elegy with the link below: