Daylight Versions is the debut album by London four-piece The Leaf Library. They’ve stepped away slightly from the Stereolab influenced sound of their early singles to incorporate the fuzzy warmth of Yo La Tengo, the intelligent meanderings of Talk Talk and the melancholic post-rock of Movietone. Members of Hot Chip, The Drink, The Clientele and The Left Outsides make guest appearances.
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At first glance the name The Leaf Library brings to mind the kind of band we've sold records by in the past. They'd maybe have had a limited Cdr out containing a hand pressed leaf back in 2012 and make some kind of neo-classical neo-electronica.
But scrub all that because the Leaf Library are nothing like that at all. They are former members of Saloon and make a brand of tight kraut pop with winsome melodies and metronomic drumming. 'Tilting' balances a kind of Quickspace-like economical pop and the horn- lashed folk of Beirut or Big Eyes. 'Slow Spring' uses terrifically muted drums as a backdrop for a sweet tune with melancholically jangling guitars. It sits somewhere between the pastoral drift of Movietone and the nostalgic pop of Epic 45. The ghost of the hushed end of Yo La Tengo is never far away particularly in the opening bass notes pot 'Acre'.
Sometimes you wish for a bit more bite and start to wonder where the Leaf Library could go if they really went for it. But I often thought the same about Stereolab and holding back did them no harm whatsoever. 'Rings of Saturn' is certainly heavily in debt to them and also recalls fantastic lost French band Carmine and Australians Minimum Chips with spiralling guitar and bass winding around each other.
Absolutely charming. The Leaf Library prove that they can disarm.... but they do it quietly and with minimum of fuss.
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- Daylight Versions by The Leaf Library
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