Leif Vollebekk's New Ways out November 1st on Secret City Records
18 June 2019
First single and video Hot Tears out now. Three shows in Holland in November
New Ways is the new album by Montreal’s Leif Vollebekk, his hotly anticipated follow-up to the Polaris Music Prize finalist Twin Solitude. It’s a record that lives between the kick and the snare, in that instant of feeling before the backbeat. It will be out November 1st via Secret City Records. Vollebekk also shares the first round of dates supporting the release, including two shows in Holland, on November 12th Leif is playing in the Lutherse Kerk in Groningen and on November 13th and November 14th he is supporting Half Moon Run in Paradiso in Amsterdam.
New Ways is the sound of desire in its unfolding. Two years ago, things were changing so fast, and the songwriter didn’t want to forget. It was like he was pretending you can compose a soundtrack to your own life (which perhaps you can). Whereas Twin Solitude was about self-reflection, New Ways is about engaging and changing, touching and being touched. It’s a physical record, with louder and tighter grooves, and the rawest lyrics the musician has ever recorded. A portrait of beauty, desire, longing, risk, remembrance—without an instant of regret.
'Anything that I wouldn’t ever want to tell anyone I just put it on the record,' Vollebekk says. Tenderness and violence, sex and rebirth, Plato and Julie Delpy. A story told through details ('the sun through my eyelids, a sign on the highway covered in rain'). There's the heat of the night and the cool blue of morning, hints of Prince and Bill Withers. 'That last record I made for me,' Vollebekk admits. This one is for somebody else.'
"I often think of Leonard Cohen’s line 'I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.' So I did."
The first single and video from the album is Hot Tears. Leif: 'It is a song that was written when my senses were much more focused and I saw colours much more vividly. The sky often looked like it could have easily been pulled from scenes of [Terrence Malick’s] The Tree of Life. It was the last song I wrote for the record. It was all recorded live: vocals, drums and piano. I wanted this song to sound as hot and rough as possible and make the lyrics fight their way through.'
The video, beautifully directed by long-time friend and collaborator Kaveh Nabatian, was Leif’s idea : For months I had been imagining a video with golden light pouring out behind a silhouette when the minor chord hit. Kaveh introduced me to Axelle Munezero : she moved the way I heard the music. Needless to say, when I saw Axelle's choreography for the first time, I was blown away.
New Ways was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Studio Breakglass in Montreal, it features Olivier Fairfield (Timber Timbre) and Homer Steinweiss (The Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson) on drums, and additional vocal 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).
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