The Album Leaf

Into the Blue Again

It seems there’s nothing Jimmy LaValle can’t do. Anyone who can contribute to both the sleepy post-rock of Tristeza and the jarring post-everything spazzcore of the Locust must have musical ADD, yes? Well, maybe, but LaValle isn’t showing it anywhere on the fourth Album Leaf LP. Like 2004’s In a Safe Place, Into the Blue begins with a slow-building drone and never raises its voice far above that—except for the few tracks with singing, like “Always for You.” The Album Leaf is an oddity among today’s slow-burning instrumental rock bands—these songs remain short and never reach the bombastic climaxes of, say, Sigur Rós—but LaValle keeps his art rooted in something basic: sounds that are pleasing to hear. The prettiness on Blue may feel safe and guarded, but there’s not a note out of place.