London drone-pop band, The Leaf Library, have always walked the line between melody and experimentation, always taken the listener on a sonic journey that is rooted in the familiarity of a pop song. Having caught the attention of many with their wonderful debut, Daylight Versions, an album many years in the making, the band have since hit a wonderfully productive vein of songwriting. They re-imagined Daylight Versions into an ambient drone album, Nightlight Versions, then had their contemporaries remix it into the intriguing Versions, as well as releasing a 77-minute long opus, On An Ocean of Greatness. Today the band are back with their second album, About Minerals, a record they describe as, “nine tracks of misty coastal ambience, ebbing drones and lush layered vocals”. To celebrate the release, we’re premiering the brand new video to previously unreleased track, An Edge, An Ending.
The track lifts it’s title from a poem by Lavinia Greenlaw, one of a series of tracks the poet wrote about her father’s disappearance into dementia, with a wider theme of loss; the loss of loved ones and how that can tie into the loss of ones self. The theme is further enforced by the lyrical inspiration, a photograph by Chris Fillip, entitled, “Simon being taken to sea for the first time since his father drowned”, depicting a practice traditional in fishing communities to try and prevent children becoming scared of the dangers of the sea.
Musically, the track is a dense and atmospheric piece, building from an intro of eerie glitchy rhythms into a repetitive, machine like rhythm. For three minutes the track just subtly gets more and more intense, slowly evolving, becoming darker and denser with no break in the musical clouds. Then without any great introduction, Kate Gibson’s vocal enters and cuts through the fog, battling through the layers of burbling electronic, just making herself heard above them. The whole thing is wonderfully understated; it is not a track where ideas crash into place, it is one where things happen slowly, progress at their own pace, reveal themselves only when you are ready to find them.
Watch the accompanying video, created by creative technologist Tim Cowlishaw, below and read on for Tim’s explanation of how the video came about and how it ties into the themes and title of the album.
“This generative video is a result of playing around with crystalline forms that grow and respond to sound. The way the crystal slowly evolves from the smooth shape at the start fits the progression of the track nicely, whilst also seeming subtly melancholy to me – this complex shape struggling to emerge from smoothness and uniformity. The blues and greys came from hints that the band gave me regarding the inspiration for the tracks on the album. It was only afterwards I noticed the album title – a nice bit of serendipity! The video was made in the processing graphics programming environment, using the minim library for sound analysis, HeMesh for 3d geometry and PeasyCam for camera and lighting.”
About Minerals is released by Inner Space Travels on tape and download now. The band will release a new studio album, The World Is A Bell later in the year through WIAIWYA. Click HERE for more information on The Leaf Library.