THE ALBUM LEAF Announces His First New Record In Seven Years, Shares Track Feat. BAT FOR LASHES
February 3, 2023 BY Jason Currell
Visionary electronic artist The Album Leaf is excited to announce that his new record, FUTURE FALLING, will be released on May 5th via Nettwerk. The album will be his first original body of work, not including his numerous notable film scores and re-issues, since his acclaimed 2016 album Between Waves, and features artists like Kimbra and Bat For Lashes. For the past seven years, the prolific Jimmy LaValle put his primary focus on the tight deadlines that came with scoring films and collaborations with apps like Calm, allowing the loose concept of the “next record” to stretch on with over two hundred demos written and dozens of album ideas before the ten final tracks that comprise, FUTURE FALLING, finally stood out to him. A fluid, cohesive, and definitive set, the record exhibits LaValle as emblematically inquisitive and renewed by outside perspectives.
LaValle explains, “During the pandemic, I created new music almost daily. I had amassed a daunting amount of new material that I felt connected with, that it almost acted more like a road block. I experimented with a lot of audio manipulating, learning new tricks and staying true to my love of analogue synthesizers. I finally settled on a collection of songs, and after second-guessing all of them, I reached out to multiple friends and collaborators to contribute. With those contributions, I was able to craft a record that represents both the time I spend alone discovering and creating while keeping the collaborative spirit that I have always been inspired by.”
A desire for innovation, and the necessity of the pandemic, forced many of the collaborations to be done remotely, making LaValle the arranger of layers from all over: drums, synths, horns, violins, voice, and more. Without the in-the-room dynamics, he had more time to experiment, adding and subtracting ad infinitum with LaValle’s signature Rhodes taking a back seat to the synths, effects pedals, and other analog-sourced electronics. With various machines, including the Novation Peak and Moog DFAM, as his engine, LaValle routes the sounds in and out, re-sampling and manipulating drums and tones to achieve the shapes his mind’s eye was seeing. “There’s a lot more exploration, out of the box; I’ve found a really good balance in creating music organically and analog, utilizing digital tools to tweak the source further.” The result, mixed by Joshua Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv), is a masterful exercise in pacing; the music meanders, pulses, and arcs in a way that arrests attention.Today, he shares “Near,” a stunning collaboration with London artist Bat For Lashes offering her ethereal vocals to the driving ambient track. Noting, “I had sent Natasha a song I was working on to see if she’d be up collaborating. We spent an afternoon in my studio while she sang a handful of ideas over the piece. I took those ideas and created something new inspired by her vocal. I really wanted to create something to support the dreamlike narrative she was painting. It was all very natural.”
LISTEN + SHARE “NEAR” FEAT. BAT FOR LASHES
Natasha Khan, aka Bat For Lashes, adds, “We worked organically, I was building vocals over Jimmy’s music; playing with melodies and words… he then took it away and sculpted it into what became ‘Near.’ The imagery was of going deep into a dark forest with a small glimmer of safety, something precious and secret. Sort of an ambient fairytale. It was very spontaneous and fun to improvise.”
The Album Leaf has been steadily making his mark as a soft-spoken innovator since 1999. Now based in LA, Jimmy LaValle started out in the San Diego music scene creating vivid, rhythmic, soaring instrumentals centered around the Rhodes piano. With over two decades of acclaimed releases (for Sub Pop, City Slang, and others), countless film scores, and numerous collaborations with artists and brands, he has become a touchstone for the next generation’s wave of melodic and meditative electro-organic music.