Secret City Records
New Ways is the honest, soul-baring release from Montreal singer-songwriter Leif Vollebekk. Following the critically acclaimed introspective album Twin Solitude, Vollebekk has directed the focus outwards in the new project. The music invites the listener to explore the intimate details of the growth and change in his life over the past two years. The simple yet moving stories in each track paint vivid imagery and are rich with relatable musings. The easy–flowing melodies are layered with smooth vocals that are raw with the sincerity of proclamation and contemplation. He has managed to seamlessly combine conflicting emotions of love, struggle, and acceptance into a continuous flowing narrative.
Opening track “The Way You Feel” is a gentle start to the album with its soft piano melodies and words of empathy following an ended relationship. The bolder vocals in “Never Be Back” are at the forefront and roll into an intricate, fast rhythm through the verse. Vollebekk’s vision of light and colour in music is transcribed into the beautiful video for “Hot Tears”, which features Axelle Munezero moving effortlessly to the steady snare beat in front of a bright, golden light.
Anguished reflection moves through story lines of regret, as in “Phaedrus” with the line “the way that it was, the way it should be”; an attempt to freeze a perfect moment in time. The music also speaks of letting go and ultimately coming to terms with the present times. “I’m Not Your Lover” laments on the small moments in relationships that always seem to stand the test of time and are often looked back on fondly.
Perfectly harmonized vocals in “Change” sing visceral simple metaphors of the effects of shifting time. The reminder that life’s lessons are often learned through tough times is equally internalized and projected outward to the listener. The subdued yodeling in “Apalachee Plain” offers a thoughtful acceptance to fade out the album.
New Ways is a true heart-on-sleeve piece, with its genuine and relatable narrative appealing to a wide audience. The sentimental dedicated poetry backed with masterful instrumentation make this one of the most memorable albums of the year. Don’t miss Leif Vollebekk at the Mod Club December 2nd.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: LEIF VOLLEBEKK – NEW WAYS