The Album Leaf: A Chorus of Storytellers


RIYL: Hammock, Death Cab for Cutie, Pink Floyd

It’s hard to believe this is the Album Leaf’s fifth album release, and that the group, led by mastermind Jimmy LaValle, is celebrating 10 years of existence. But here it is, A Chorus of Storytellers, the group’s new one, and it’s the same dreamy alt-pop LaValle and company has become known for – but even more polished, if that’s at all possible. Only four of the ten tracks on A Chorus of Storytellers have vocals, but it’s not like you expect an album from these guys to be full of vocal music anyway. In fact, some of their instrumental material is their best, the kind of music that takes you away to a far-off euphoric island and lets you forget about everything going on around you. Of course, it’s also incredibly pleasant music to work to or play in the background of a hipster party. The ten tracks on here flow nicely together, but some of the standouts are the melancholy instrumentals “Within Dreams” and “Stand Still,” and the dark yet strangely uplifting “Until the Last.” But LaValle really shines on the vocal number, “We Are,” which has a beautiful melody and subtly awesome harmonies against a stunning musical backdrop. Too many adjectives? Maybe, but The Album Leaf’s music continues to be adjective-inspiring. (Sub Pop 2010)

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