In recent times London drone-pop heroes, The Leaf Library, have been busy doing all the things bands aren’t really meant to be able to do anymore. Following the 2015 release of their acclaimed debut album, Daylight Versions, they set out on a series of commercially unlikely projects, including a drone companion piece, Nightlight Versions, a remix album, Versions, and a single track 77 minute album for WIAIWYA’s 21st birthday.
It was all great of course, but today we’re delighted to be sharing some new material that reminds us just how good they are at writing what are traditionally called songs. The first taste of their upcoming second album, City In Reverse/Kendrick Road is the band’s new double A-side single, and it’s due out next month on WIAIWYA.
City In Reverse, described by the band as, “an ode to abstract city encounters”, is in many ways classic Leaf Library drone-pop. Building from a prominent rumble of bass, the tracks shifts into warm synth-drones, e-bowed guitars and entwined vocals; the male voice provided by The Left Outsides’ Mark Nicholas. The track floats by in five minutes of perfectly paced and beautifully instrumented, hazy melancholy: a perfect soundtrack for the closing in Autumn evenings.
Kendrick Road is an altogether more wistful piece, a song about losing people, and equally the places they used to inhabit. Musically, it’s something of a departure for the band, a shuffling piece of chamber-pop, it’s less dense and droning than we’re used to. Kate Gibson’s crisp vocals are to the fore, accompanied by prominent hand-clap beats, rolling flourishes of toms and waves of melodious strings.
A hugely welcome return, these tracks suggest The Leaf Library remain masters of unrushed melancholy; if it’s all going to sound this good then roll on 2018, it could just be The Leaf Library’s year.