JPR Live Session: Leif Vollebekk

May 26, 2017

An adoptive Montrealer, Leif Vollebekk has toured extensively across America and Europe, opening for the likes of Daniel Lanois, Gregory Alan Isakov and Patrick Watson. He has released two records, Inland (2010) and North Americana (2013) that received praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, Paste and The Line of Best Fit, to only name a few. His songwriting has garnered comparisons to Bob Dylan and his voice to Jeff Buckley.

Secret City Records released Twin Solitude, his third album, on Feb. 24, and thanks to the combination of Vollebekk’s reputation and Secret City’s know-how, the first single, "Elegy," already has been streamed more than 400,000 times on various digital platforms.

Twin Solitude once again features the stark, moving singer-songwriter fare that has had critics comparing Vollebekk to Jeff Buckley, Ryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen at his most intimate. He recorded at happening Mile End studio Breakglass, and says it was all about keeping things in the moment. “We did it all live in the room,” Vollebekk said. “We did everything on tape with old microphones. Everyone was set up pretty close together. And we did everything pretty quickly. Everything on the record was the first take, except for two songs, where I had to take a step back and I waited a couple of months and then went back and it was the first or second take.

He had some help from some notable musicians, including Olivier Fairfield from Timber Timbre on drums, Sarah Pagé from the Barr Brothers on harp and Shahzad Ismaily from Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog on bass.