By Joseph Purcell
Canadian songwriter, Leif Vollebekk, has been quietly prolific since the release of his last long player – the acclaimed New Ways – in November of last year. Inspired by a willingness to document the inspirations of sex, violence, tenderness and rebirth, Vollebekk has used the time afforded him in 2020 to revisit some of the recordings from those sessions that ultimately evaded him with a fresh approach.
June saw the release of the first EP, Rest. A quiet introspective reflection that allowed Vollebekk to pause and take stock in the tumultuous nature of the year. Now he returns with his second EP, Long Blue Light. After initially proving a difficult song to pin down, Vollebekk’s persistence has paid off on a slow-burning, stripped back acoustic traverse. The track reflects the intimate nature of the recording process, a swirling backdrop underpins a fragile vocal that reflects the lyrical midst in which Vollebekk finds himself. His words reflect his malaise, searching for a direction, ‘my eyelids are heavy my spirit is numb, don’t know where I’m heading, don’t know where I’m from, I’m here just waiting, for my day to come’.
Speaking about the process Vollebekk commented, ‘Long Blue Light was recorded during the sessions for New Ways, live with just myself and a drummer, Homer Steinweiss. I had all but abandoned it, but this year I kept coming back to it. I added some overdubs and had Cindy Cashdollar finish it off with a gorgeous dobro part. It was supposed to fade out but I rather liked how it just falls apart at the end.’
Vollebekk works by the mantra, ‘Anything that I wouldn’t ever want to tell anyone – I just put it on the record,’ it certainly seems to be paying off.
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