The art of creating songs that illustrate stories and images with lyrics is something that has been lost on today’s musical landscape. This aspect of songwriting however, has remained a key component for Canadian singer-songwriter, Leif Vollebekk.
In his latest record ‘Twin Solitude’ he writes his most introspective lyrics to date matched with a cinematic atmosphere of spacious sounds, it’s a brooding record that appears bruised but underneath the surface is a layer of calm optimism.
The record paints a solemn picture and as, Leif makes his modest entrance on to the stage to sit alone at a keyboard, the image perfectly captures the mood before a single note is played. He begins proceedings with a humble nod which leads into the album opening, ‘Vancouver Time’ a song that’s musically simple and mellow in its approach, bringing the audience in as they look on in appreciative silence.
The atmosphere has the crowd enraptured as he plays ‘All Night Sedans’ & ‘Michigan’, plucking away at his guitar and erratically moving his body around as if every note is painfully pouring out of him, it only shows his immersion into the song that has a Manchester crowd in awe as the music envelopes the room.
There are lighter points to the set as, Leif’s often awkward charm creeps out with his comical observations about the room and the world’s current state of affairs, help to add a jovial tone giving the crowd a breather from the depth of the shows songs.
A soulful rendition of a lesser known Prince song, ‘How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore’ has the crowd tapping their feet as Vollebekk sings in tribute to the enigmatic musician who passed away last year.
Vollebekk winds the set down with arguably the break out song from ‘Twin Solitude’, ‘Elegy’ with its laid back melody and Leif’s soulful vocals carrying the song across the room before finishing up with ‘East of Eden’ a song which leans a little bit on his previous country influences as the riff provides the backbone to the song.
Leif Vollebekk is a multi-talented musician who wears his influences on his sleeve, looking to capture the story in the lyrics and to paint a picture for the listener, deeply personal while also widely relatable. His live performance offers an engaging experience through allowing the song to breathe into the room, no gimmicks, no facade, no ego, he bares all and in doing so, allows you to see him at his most vulnerable while also seeing him at his most confident.
‘Twin Solitude’ is available now via Secret City Records