• SHARE

Jimmy LaValle’s classical training helped define his old outfit, Tristeza, whose intricate post-rock pastorals could have been jarring or cluttered without a subtle, steady hand. As the Album Leaf, his present incarnation, the San Diego guitarist’s strings recede into more barren terrain. Lush acoustic strumming makes way for mewing violins, warm Moog and Fender Rhodes tones and the click and whir of spare electronic percussion.

Recorded in Iceland with locals and tour-buddies Mum and Sigur Ros, The Album Leaf’s latest, “In a Safe Place,” evokes the glacial majesty of its birthplace. But where his Nordic brethren arch achingly toward the heavens, LaValle seems content by the fire, contemplating the beauty before him through frost-tinted windows. Accordingly, “In a Safe Place” is not for the glare of midday summer. Its soft, fragile melodies require several listens into the wee hours to settle in. Some music burns brightest under the stars.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)