This Leaf Library article was written by David Lowes, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse
Autumn. The leaves are falling off of the trees, the parks take on a riot of colours, and the marshes of London once again suffer the slow creeping chill of near-winter. At least that’s how some see it. But there are some who see it as a time when the best of the year comes out. Spring is for new, developing artists trying to find a voice; summer is for the big, poppy, tunes that will make a lot of money; and autumn and winter are reserved for releases which the record companies think will stand up and shout about themselves. The leaves may be dying, but ‘Daylight Versions’ is an album that is far from withering away.
The album starts pretty standardly; the rising tone on ‘Asleep Between Stations’ gives way to a jangly drum beat, and it pretty much stays that way with some airy vocals – they seem to be in fashion nowadays – on the side. However the song grounds the theme of the album, traveling; of not being quite there, but at the same time being happy that you aren’t quite where you want to be, and being content at the way the world is.
The highlight of this album is the magnificently titled ‘Rings of Saturn,’ where the slow rhythmic section of the band goes up-tempo and the result is a fantastic song that breaks up this album into two halves; both as stunning as each other.
The main musical strength is, despite initial reservations, the vocals; Kate Gibson’s less-than-there voice lends an aura of mystery to the album. You can almost feel the creeping damp of the Thames marshes listening to her sing.
This leads onto the weaknesses of this album. It’s difficult to find something wrong with an accomplished LP, but there are a few issues that float up. The lyrics are too hidden, although that might be an issue with the mixing, and this seems to detract from the thematic complexity. It speaks volumes that the creepiest song on the album (‘Pushing/Swimming’) is the only song where you can actually hear what the hell they want to say. What’s the point of having a theme if you are going to lose confidence in it? The songs are too ‘samey’, the highlight of the album broke the mould, and whilst the songs are really good, at times The Leaf Library seem to play it too safe. Yet it is their full debut album; so there’s bound to be some hedge-betting.
‘Daylight Versions’ is nevertheless a suitably creepy album. Although a bit safe at times, it’s definitely one of massive potential. Give this a listen, give this a buy, this is a band going places.
‘Daylight Versions’ is out on the 30th October via WIAIWYA.