Montreal singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Leif Vollebekk will be returning to UK shores with his very own headlining tour in support of his latest album, ‘Twin Solitude’.
He has already made an appearance on UK soil opening for Gregory Alan Isakov and will be welcomed back with open arms as he continues to spread the word about his latest work.
‘Twin Solitude’ was created after Vollebekk took an extended break following a creative slump and a disillusion with the material he was writing, which makes it all the more impressive that he was able to create this ten song set of storytelling and serenity.
He even had enough left over that he has released a B side track ‘Tallahassee’ which you can hear below, as well as read our chat with him about his musical history, his fondness of recording on tape and the inspiration behind his work.
Your most recent release ‘Twin Solitude’ has been met with rave reviews, what can you tell me about the album title and the inspiration behind the music?
When you listen to a record and it really touches you, it can change the way everything looks, the way everything feels. All this from just the sound of a voice from another time and place. I was thinking a lot about the records that had that effect on me. It’s almost like being alone with someone else.
I’m given to understand that you recorded the album entirely on tape, what was your reason behind doing that? Searching for a more raw and authentic sound?
I can’t think of a reason why it would be better any other way. Tape means you have no computer screens which means you’re never looking at the tracks, pointing at where the drums come in. I just want to be able to listen. Furthermore, you have to make decisions as to whether something is good or not right there in the moment, because you’re gonna run out of tape. On digital you keep everything, and for me that means infinite second-guessing. And, of course, tape sounds terrific.
‘Elegy’ has arguably been the breakout song of the album, thanks in part to the accompanying video set on a Florida beach. Can you talk about the idea behind the video and the lyrical inspiration for the song?
I went to that beach as a kid. It’s overgrown and the light there is gorgeous. The colours there reminded me of the colours in the song. Kaveh Nabatian (the director) has a beautiful eye which meant he was able make it all work. Wouldn’t have worked with anyone else. As for the lyrics, I try not to talk about lyrics. I find it only dilutes whatever’s there.
How does it feel to have had your album shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize 2017?
It feels like being in a bullfight with no bull and 9 toreadors you really like.
You originate from Ontario but moved to Montreal after leaving school, what was the music you grew up listening to? What made you want to move on to Montreal?
I grew up listening to The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Aerosmith on cassette and the local oldies station, which meant a lot of Motown and British Invasion stuff. I moved to Montreal because that’s where all the musicians I loved were living.
Is it true that you were originally more interested in the composition of a song rather than the lyrics?
Yes, absolutely. Only when I was about 19 did I even think about lyrics. Until then, they were just sounds to fit inside the music. I didn’t visualize words at all. It was almost like an illness. Then the pendulum swung the other way. Now it’s almost all I see.
Who would you say are your musical influences?
Bob Dylan & Ray Charles
What’s your favourite and least favourite parts of touring?
Best part is meeting new people from all around the world. I’ve learned more out there than anywhere else. Worst part is hauling gear!
What else do you have planned for the rest of 2017?
I’ll be touring straight up til Christmas. I’m in Europe all of November, then onto the West Coast and East of America, with a couple Canadian dates in there too!
Check out Leif’s tour dates below:
Twin Solitude is available now via Secret City Records