Unpopular Advent 2019 – Day 7

The Leaf Library – ‘Hissing Waves’ from ‘The World Is A Bell’ LP

If Rozi Plain is stunningly adept at making succinct statements of Space-Folk-Techno-Psych-Pop then The Leaf Library shrug off notions of brevity and go all out for extended evocations of those same inner and outer spaces with the lengthy yet never sprawling ‘The World Is A Bell’ set. As with Rozi Plain, the landscapes that The Leaf Library inhabit are those liminal ones between urban and rural. They are those spaces where technology impinges and perhaps, for a moment in time, dominate, yet where too there feels an inevitability of that domination ultimately breaking down under nature’s relentless strength. As such it feels a strikingly contemporary record, utterly in tune with the tensions and conflicts that permeate our societies. Yet is is hardly a record that sounds tense. Instead it is a record that seeks calm in those divergent impulses between nature and technology, between urban and rural, between, I suppose, ’remain’ and ‘leave’ (in/from what, to where and why feel like the roots of everything, everywhere).

Ultimately too though is a record that simply sounds exquisite and never more so than on the near seven minutes of ‘Hissing Waves’. This is a piece that vibrates in the air above us, shimmering like summer heat haze above the distant hills, Steiglitz clouds hovering in the high atmosphere. It inhabits a landscape where Stereolab may dominate but where there is more than enough expanse for other Mahogany tinged elements to set up home and linger. And so ‘Hissing Waves’ slips over and around itself, wrapping us in lustrous sunlight refractions and hazy woodsmoke tendrils. It grabs hold of our psyche and leads us into a groove of deliciously tethered delirium on our inner dancefloors, disco-balls of moonlight sparkling above us all the while. We abandon ourselves to the bliss and hold our fingers on ‘repeat’.

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