The Album Leaf

The Album Leaf


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In 2001, One Day I’ll Be On Time propelled The Album Leaf from Jimmy LaValle’s part-time solo project to a full-fledged live band. LaValle, who came up in the San Diego music scene playing in hardcore bands and the instrumental rock band Tristeza, had inked a deal to release his next solo album through the indie label Tigerstyle Records. He put the modest advance towards a self-recording starter setup, building out the sound with occasional studio access. The music that emerged — vivid, rhythmic, soaring instrumentals guided by lines of Guitar and Rhodes — not only set the path for The Album Leaf over the next two decades of acclaimed releases (for Sub Pop, City Slang, and others), it became a touchstone for the next generation's wave of melodic and meditative electro-organic music. For its 20th anniversary, LaValle has re-recorded the album with his longtime collaborator James McAlister and members of his live band, re-imagining every arrangement with what he knows now as a composer and performer, with technical prowess and the emotional clarity that time and distance can afford. He is quick to point out that this exercise wasn’t meant to cover up mistakes or definitively revise. He wanted to see this career-launching material from a new angle, to revisit the raw takes and underscore the melodies and grooves defined by twenty years of performance and to remember the artist he was in his early 20s and recognize the one he’s become.