The Album Leaf

In a Safe Place

Extended an invitation by Icelandic compatriots Sigur Rós and Mum, San Francisco’s Jimmy LaValle, guitarist for Tristeza, went far away and recorded in their presumably cold studio. The results can be found on the pleasant organic/synthetic In a Safe Place, released in late June on Sub Pop. Guests Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession) and Jon Thor Birgisson (Sigur Rós) add vocals, something not overt on earlier Album Leaf efforts. Classically trained and with an ear for space, LaValle employs guitar, bells, flittering percussion, strings, keys and an avocado shaker in this mix of indie persuasion and post-rock brittleness. Studio chatter and found sounds bridge a few tracks on this fine record, which tries really hard to be liked. It succeeds.