Leif Vollebekk - Inland (Nevado)

Aged by one too many packs of Marlboro Lights, Vollebekk's sound takes time to settle in and get comfortable

Released Jul 30th, 2010 via Nevado / By Amanda Farah
Leif Vollebekk - Inland (Nevado) Leif Vollebekk’s Inland is a challenging listen, which is more than you’d expect from a singer-songwriter. With opening track ‘In The Morning,’ it seems very likely that Vollebekk will be yet another boy with an acoustic guitar, albeit a boy with a tenor that sounds like it’s been aged by one too many packs of Marlboro Lights. But Vollebekk takes a very avant garde approach to what is at its heart folk music.

Early in the album, the different parts of Vollebekk’s songs often sound like they are in conflict with one another. It’s almost as if the guitars and strings and sometimes even vocals need time to jell. It’s past the halfway point with ‘Northernmost Eva Marie’ that the album really hits its stride. Examined from a different angle, at this point the songs begin to adhere to a more pop song structure. But he sure can write a pop song.

The jazzy aberration ‘Don’t Go To Klaksvik’ is a late highlight of low rumbling piano that spins outward in a net of strings. But Vollebekk doesn’t forsake the more creative compositions of the first side, the synths on ‘1921’ sound like light reflecting off of a mirror and create a surreal texture no piano could accomplish on its own. Inland will require some patience to fully appreciate, but its strengths make the investment worthwhile.