The Album Leaf –
A Chorus of Storytellers
(Sub Pop; 2010)
A Chorus of Storytellers marks a departure from The Album Leaf’s usual lo-fi, atmospheric sound, to something more focused and epic.
Recorded at Bear Creek Studio, outside Seattle and mixed in Iceland by JÃ³n Birgisson (Sigur RÃ³s), there is a definite sense of journey in this fifth studio album, a journey that is mirrored in the decision to record with a full band, instead of the usual layering of overdubs done entirely by multi-instrumentalist Jimmy LaValle. The album greatly benefits from this approach, delivering a richer, more concentrated sound and a diverse range to add to the complexity of each track.
However, like all things, this journey doesn’t come without a cost. The new band dynamic has spawned a greater number of vocal-driven tracks, which are definitely not LaValle’s forte. The Album Leaf risks losing some of their fan base if they decide to stray too far from their ambient roots.
Trial Track: “Within Dreams”