New Ways is the new album by Montreal’s Leif Vollebekk, his hotly anticipated follow-up to the Polaris Music Prize finalist Twin Solitude. It’s a record that lives between the kick and the snare, in that instant of feeling before the backbeat. It will be out November 1st via Secret City Records. Vollebekk also shares the first round of dates supporting the release, including a Europe tour opening for Half Moon Run. The full concert list is below.New Ways is the sound of desire in its unfolding. Two years ago, things were changing so fast, and the songwriter didn’t want to forget. “I often think of Leonard Cohen’s line, ‘I hope you’re keeping some kind of record,’” he says. “So I did.” It was like he was pretending you can compose a soundtrack to your own life (which perhaps you can). Whereas Twin Solitude was about self-reflection, New Ways is about engaging and changing, touching and being touched. It’s a physical record, with louder and tighter grooves, and the rawest lyrics the musician has ever recorded. A portrait of beauty, desire, longing, risk, remembrance—without an instant of regret.
Leif also shared the first single and video from the album this morning. ‘Hot Tears’ he explains, is a song that was written when my senses were much more focused and I saw colours much more vividly. The sky often looked like it could have easily been pulled from scenes of [Terrence Malick’s] The Tree of Life. It was the last song I wrote for the record. It was all recorded live: vocals, drums and piano. I wanted this song to sound as hot and rough as possible and make the lyrics fight their way through. The video, beautifully directed by long-time friend and collaborator Kaveh Nabatian, was Leif’s idea.
New Ways was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Studio Breakglass in Montreal, it features Olivier Fairfield (Timber Timbre) and Homer Steinweiss (The Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson) on drums, and additional vocal by Angie McMahon. It was mixed by Chris Allen in NYC (Yoko Ono, Fleet Foxes, Sigur Rós, Margaret Glaspy) and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound (David Byrne, The War On Drugs, Gregory Alan Isakov, Tame Impala, Father John Misty, Bob Dylan, Patrick Watson).
Twin Solitude was a breakthrough album for Leif, landing a spot on the Polaris Music Prize 2017 shortlist, a Juno nomination and is now at over 23 million streams. It was critically acclaimed by Uncut, NPR Music, The Fader, The Sunday Times Culture, The Line of Best Fit, Paste, Brooklyn Vegan, WXPN, KCRW and Exclaim! to only name a few. During his career Leif has shared stages with Shakey Graves, Gregory Alan Isakov, Angie McMahon, Daniel Lanois, Patrick Watson, Natalia Lafourcade, Mandolin Orange, Beth Orton, Sinéad O’Connor and countless others. He sold-out much of his latest North-American headlining tour during the Twin Solitude campaign.
6th Nov Bristol @ SWX *
7th Nov London @ Electric Brixton *
8th Nov Glasgow, @ The Garage *
9th Nov Manchester @ O2 Ritz *
*Supporting Half Moon Run