Between Waves

Between Waves

by The Album Leaf

CD

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Overview

Between Waves is the first major release by electronic post-rock mainstays the Album Leaf in the six years since their final Sub Pop album A Chorus of Storytellers. During that time, the group recorded a soundtrack (Torey's Distraction, 2012) and an EP (Forward/Return, 2014), and leader Jimmy LaVelle collaborated with Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek on 2013's Perils from the Sea. Between Waves is the group's debut for Relapse Records, which might be surprising to some fans considering that the label is mainly associated with extreme metal, but it makes a little more sense when taking into account the presence of cinematic, synth-heavy artists like Steve Moore/Zombi and S U R V I V E on the label, as well as Nothing, who have more in common with shoegaze than metal. What's more surprising than Relapse releasing music by the Album Leaf is the fact that Between Waves is their most pop-focused work yet. Only a few tracks have vocals, but these songs sound almost polished enough for radio, or perhaps some sort of teen drama movie or series. Even the instrumental numbers are far more focused and structured than anything the band has written before, lacking the experimental ambient drift of their earlier work. The rhythms are propulsive, seamlessly combining skittering IDM beats and chopped-up live drums; "Back to the Start" is particularly impressive, starting off with a Moroder-lite disco rhythm before adding tricky, shifting drums and eventually a wistful, starry-eyed melody played by keyboards and horns. The songs progress evenly and without force, typically starting out calm and gradually swelling up and becoming more ecstatic. It's not uncommon for these songs to bloom into something celebratory during their second half, such as on the rippling, shimmering "Wandering Still." Between Waves is easily the strongest, most inspired Album Leaf release in at least a decade.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/26/2016
Label: Relapse
UPC: 0781676734627
catalogNumber: 7673462
Rank: 90246

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