New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Leif Vollebekk has unveiled the cinematic new video for "Blood Brother" - filmed in the early morning light of London atop of double decker bus. The song is from his recently-released and lauded album New Ways (Secret City Records). Leif was just included in NPR's Heavy
Rotation for November and his biggest tour ever is underway now. The U.S. run begins December 3 and a number of dates (his biggest venues yet) have sold-out, including Boston, Philadelphia and D.C. See full itinerary below.
Hand-cuffed to a seat on a vacant double-decker bus in London, Vollebekk dances his way to freedom in the restless video - but not without passing along his burden to the bus' sole other passenger.
"There was a period of a few months where I listened to nothing but Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak. I couldn't get enough of that rock n roll shuffle. And so when I wrote this piano ballad, I guess I just kept hearing these polyrhythms over it. I played it to Olivier and it ended up being this whole other thing. Not a ballad at all," Leif says. "Back in high school, I think the first song I ever played with a band was 'Last Nite' by the Strokes. That was in a half-empty high school cafeteria in Ottawa. But it felt like such a release. You don't forget that feeling. I think that snuck in there on this song."
Video director Joe Connor elaborates on the video's concept:
"Leif is an artist whose music takes me to a dreamlike space. I wanted to create a video that found Leif in the middle of a story, where he has come from and where he is going is unknown but the beauty in this video is that here we find an artist, handcuffed and adrift in a city in the early hours of the morning. This beautiful video presents London in the most spectacular way and sets Leif as a quiet voice amongst the rolling city."
New Ways is a sonic documentation of everything that Leif felt; tenderness and violence, sex and rebirth. "Anything that I wouldn't ever want to tell anyone - I just put it on the record," he says. It was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Studio Breakglass in Montreal, it features Olivier Fairfield (Timber Timbre) and Homer Steinweiss (The Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson) on drums, and additional vocals by Angie McMahon. It was mixed by Chris Allen in NYC (Yoko Ono, Fleet Foxes, Sigur Rós, Margaret
Glaspy) and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound (David Byrne, The War On Drugs, Gregory Alan Isakov, Tame Impala, Father John Misty, Bob Dylan, Patrick Watson).
Released in June, the first single "Hot Tears" was featured on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic Top 10 for a number of weeks and was recently featured as a KCRW Today's Top Tune. The song quickly reached well over two million streams. Leif performed a Free At Noon concert at WXPN (listen here) and appeared on CBC 'q' (listen here).
2017's Twin Solitude was a breakthrough album for Leif, landing a spot on the Polaris Music
Prize 2017 shortlist, a Juno nomination and is now at over 23 million streams. It was critically acclaimed by Uncut, NPR Music, The Fader, The Sunday Times Culture, The Line of Best Fit, Paste, Brooklyn Vegan, WXPN, KCRW and Exclaim! to only name a few.
Praise for New Ways
"Pensive and restless, blossoming with stream-of-consciousness verses that bear the marks of long nights spent alone on the road" - New York Times
"New Ways is an album confident in its vision and powered by terrific songwriting" - WXPN
"Unhurried observational vividness ....the bittersweet lilt of his voice all tangled up in blue" - Uncut, 8 out of 10
"A transformative journey sweeping the depths of the soul" - Atwood Magazine
"His most elegant album yet" - Rolling Stone France
"Vollebekk's signature is creating melancholy, yet delightful R&B-tinged folk songs and New Ways does not waver from this standard" - Bandcamp Essential releases
"It's slow, sensuous and utterly beguiling…brilliant, an unforeseen shift in direction" - Thank Folk For That
4 out of 5 stars - Independent UK
9 out of 10 stars - Exclaim!
"The poetic Canadian composer deepens grooves and strips his instrumental palette to piano, bass, percussion, and tasteful washes of guitar and violin for this soulful rumination on love" - Pasadena Weekly, 4 out of 5 stars
11/27 - Brussels, BE @ AB *
11/29 - Montreal, QC @ Le National
12/1 - Toronto, ON @ Mod Club SOLD-OUT
12/2 - Toronto, ON @ Mod Club SOLD-OUT
12/3 - Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
12/4 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Listening Room
12/6 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
12/7 - Indianapolis, IN @ LoFi
12/8 - Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
12/10 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
12/11 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott SOLD-OUT
12/13 - Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live Upstairs SOLD-OUT
12/14 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd SOLD-OUT
1/14 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
1/17 - Santa
Cruz, CA @ Catalyst Atrium
1/19 - Sacramento, CA @ Harlows
1/20 - San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall
1/22 - Eugene, OR @ Wildcraft Cider Works
1/23 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
1/24 - Seattle, WA @ Columbia City Theatre
1/25 - Vancouver, BC @ Imperial SOLD-OUT
1/26 - Saskatoon, SK @ Winterruption Festival
3/13-22 - Austin, TX @ SXSW
3/28 - Madrid, Spain @ Cafe Berlin
3/29 - Barcelona, Spain @ Sidecar
3/31 - Zurich, Switzerland @ Bogen F
4/1 - Munich, Germany @ folks! Club
4/2 - Vienna, Austria @ Arena
4/4 - Berlin, Germany @ Privatclub
4/6 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Nalen Klubb
4/7 - Gothenburg, Sweden @ Pustervik
4/8 - Oslo, Norway @ John Dee
4/14 - Aarhus, Denmark @ Atlas
4/15 - Copenhagen, Denmark @ Hotel Cecil
4/16 - Hamburg, Germany @ Nochtwache
4/17 - Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Motel Mozaique Festival
4/18 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso Noord
4/21 - Belgium, Brussels @ AB Club
4/22 - Cologne, Germany @ Blue Shell
4/23 - Heidelberg, Germany @ Halle02 Club
4/24 - Luxembourg, Luxembourg @ Rotondes
4/25 - Paris, France @ PopUp!
4/27 - London, UK @ Bush Hall
4/28 - London, UK @ Bush Hall SOLD-OUT
4/29 - Bristol, UK @ Exchange
4/30 - Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
5/1 - Glasgow, UK @ SWG3 Poetry Club
5/2 - Dublin, Ireland @ The Soundhouse
* Supporting Half Moon Run
Buy / listen to the album New Ways here.
Watch the Hot Tears
Watch the official video for Transatlantic Flight here.