Bio

The Album Leaf officially began in 1998 as the solo project of Jimmy LaValle, guitarist for San Diego, California-based post-rock band Tristeza. LaValle has also performed in several other San Diego-area bands, including Swing Kids, The Locust, GoGoGo Airheart, and The Black Heart Procession. An Orchestrated Rise to Fall Jimmy LaValle had been playing an ocarina in the post-rock instrumental band Tristeza. Being a multi-instrumentalist, during downtime in the fall of 1998, he began playing drums for San Diego band GoGoGo Airheart. The singer and guitarist for the group, Mike Vermillion (which later inspired the song name "Vermillion" on One Day I'll Be on Time) recorded LaValle doing improvised material playing to a vintage roland drum machine on a Rhodes Piano that would become his first full-length album, the 10-track An Orchestrated Rise to Fall. Benjamin White of GoGoGo Airheart and Vermillion both supplied added improvisation with synthesizers and vocals to these recordings. Before Tristeza released Spine and Sensory on Makoto records in 1998, the band was talking with a handful of different indie record labels. One of the record labels was "The Music Fellowship" out of Salt Lake City, Utah. LaValle asked them if they would be interested in releasing his solo material. They accepted, and An Orchestrated Rise to Fall saw release in 1999 on CD. Later in the year, Tristeza and The Album Leaf both signed with newly started Tigerstyle Records out of New York City. A&R rep for the Tigerstyle, Mike Treff, had previously done his own record label named Linkwork Records. Tigerstyle wanted to release the vinyl version of An Orchestrated Rise to Fall, since it would be one of the first Tigerstyle releases, and being only on Vinyl format, Mike opted to make it Linkwork Records last release. LaValle played his first official Album Leaf show at the Che Cafe in the winter of 1999. Band members for this show consisted of Rafter Roberts, Jimmy Lehner (of Tristeza), Leilani Clark (of local San Diego band, "The Straight A's" also with LaValle), and Benjamin White (of GoGoGo Airheart). One Day I'll Be on Time Soon after signing with Tigerstyle Records, LaValle received his first recording advance. He used this money to buy his first computer, and purchase equipment for a home recording studio. He did his first recordings and those songs were released as a 4 song EP entitled In An Off White Room on Troubleman Records Unlimited. The title for the EP was named after the color of his home studio, which was in his living room. During off time of Tristeza's busy tour schedule promoting their Tigerstyle records release of Dream Signals in Full Circles in 2000, he began writing One Day I'll Be on Time. The Album Leaf performed their second show during Tristeza's 2000 spring tour, at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. This show was at Club Deville, at a day party for online distributor, Insound.com. This line-up consisted of Lavalle, Leilani Clark on guitar and keyboards, Tana Helean on keyboards, Susanna Waiche on bass and Jay Hough (of GoGoGoAirheart) on Drums. They shared the stage with Tristeza and The American Analog Set. This lineup also did a 4 week U.S. tour in the summer of 2000 with Andy Robillard (also of GoGoGo Airheart) replacing Hough on Drums. After the summer tour, he took a full time job in San Diego at newly started music house, "Singing Serpent" producing jingles for television commercials. This also gave him access to a full service recording studio. LaValle used this studio to re-record the material he had written for One Day I'll be On Time. Rafter Roberts recorded the track "Storyboard" and can be heard in the beginning of the song talking with LaValle about his guitar tone. Jason Soares of San Diego band Aspects of Physics provided drum programming for the song "Vermillion", and fellow Tristeza band-mate, Christopher Sprague, played guitar on "In Between Lines" and designed the album art. After completing this record, LaValle left Singing Serpent citing "Making jingles was killing my creativity!" One Day I'll Be on Time saw worldwide release in early 2001. Jón Þór Birgisson of Icelandic band, Sigur Rós, picked up the record at a record store in Reykjavík, Iceland. This prompted them to ask LaValle to support their upcoming U.S. tour. This would put The Album Leaf in front of new audiences, which helped the band gain popularity. The Album Leaf supported Sigur Rós on their first full US tour. This line-up consisted of LaValle, Luis Hermosillo (of Tristeza) on bass, Nathan Delffs on keyboards and guitar, Eric Hinjosa on keyboards and Andy Robillard still on drums. This line-up also toured the U.S. during December of 2001 and Summer 2002 without Hinojosa. During this time LaValle wrote 2 songs for Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes to sing on and 2 songs for Marc Bianchi of Her Space Holiday beginning a series of 7" singles entitled the "Collaboration Series" released by Better Looking Records. This series is limited to 1000 copies and is only available to subscribers. The tracks with Oberst were titled "Hungry For A Holiday" and "Bad Blood". The tracks with Bianchi were titled "Call in Blue' and "Reso" (after future violinist, Matt Resovich). The Her Space Holiday collaboration would not be released until 2003. In January of 2003, The Album Leaf toured Japan for the second time. The first time was an opening slot for LaValle's band, Tristeza, in spring of 2002 where he performed with fellow band members Luis Hermosillo and Eric Hinojosa. This was a headlining tour with fellow San Diego band, Ilya supporting. LaValle enlisted Duane Pitre, Matthew Baker and Hank Morton of Ilya to back him along with Robillard on drums. Immediately following this tour, LaValle was offered to support Sigur Rós' European tour. This tour he performed solo and started incorporating electronic beats and loop pedals into his live show in order to perform his songs as a one man band. Later during this tour, Kjartan Sveinsson, Orri Páll Dýrason and María Huld Markan of Sigur Rós and Amiina respectively, began to join LaValle on stage performing on a couple of songs during his half-hour performance slot. Upon returning home, he had put together another line-up for supporting the U.S. portion of Sigur Rós' tour. This line-up was Hermosillo, Delffs with Tim Reece now on drums. Kjartan Sveinsson, Orri Páll Dýrason and María Huld Markan would still join them on stage. This tour saw the Album Leaf playing at music venues such as Radio City Music Hall in New York City, gaining even more popularity for the band. After these tours, LaValle decided to leave Tristeza and focus on the Album Leaf full time. A Lifetime or More and the Seal Beach EP During the following months of 2003, LaValle began recording again. He recorded 3 tracks for a split EP with New York City's, On! Air! Library! for the Arena Rock Recording Co. called A Lifetime or More. Drew Andrews provided guitar for the track "Another Day". During May of 2003, with his new addition of electronic beats, he recorded 5 songs released as the "Seal Beach EP" for Spanish record label Acuarela Discos. In August of 2003, The Album Leaf headlined a tour of the U.S. with fellow San Diego band, Ilya. This tour introduced the Album Leaf's use of live visual projection art by Andrew Pates and the line-up went down to just LaValle and Drew Andrews on keyboards and guitar with them incorporating laptops and Pates projecting visuals onto a backdrop of the stage. The line-up was becoming more permanent. Following this tour, LaValle traveled to Iceland to begin recording his third full length. During the Sigur Rós European and U.S. tours. LaValle received an invite from Sigur Rós to record in their Icelandic studio. During these recording sessions the Album Leaf performed 2 shows in Iceland, one being a part of the Iceland Airwaves music festival with LaValle being backed by Kjartan Sveinsson, Orri Páll Dýrason and María Huld Markan of Sigur Rós and Amiina with Sindri Mar Finnbogason playing bass. In December of 2003, The Album Leaf opened for The American Analog Set on their U.S. tour. This line-up consisted of Matt Resovich on violin, Andrew Kinney (of The American Analog Set) and Sean Ripple (of The American Analog Set) with Pates doing live projections. In a Safe Place In the January of 2004, LaValle signed with Seattle based record label, Sub Pop Records and Berlin, Germany based European label City Slang Records. LaValle completed In a Safe Place in February of 2004. Jón Þór Birgisson, Kjartan Sveinsson, and Orri Páll Dýrason (most of the members of Sigur Rós), María Huld Markan (of Amiina), Gyða Valtýsdóttir (formally of múm) , Pall Jenkins and Matt Resovich (of the blackheart procession) all contributed to the record with Birgir Jon Birgisson, "Biggi," engineering at Sigur Rós' Sundlaugin studio. In a Safe Place was released on June 22, 2004. The Album Leaf played a record release show at M-Theory Records in San Diego with its current line-up of Matt Resovich on violin, keyboards, glockenspiel, guitar, and vocals, Drew Andrews on guitar, keyboards, and vocals, Tim Reece on drums and keyboards with Andrew Pates projecting live visuals. Following the release, the Album Leaf toured for a year with little time off performing in the U.S., Europe, Taiwan, and Japan. During this time, the Album Leaf self released the Red Tour EP with 5 tracks. This was to showcase the band as individuals and each member (With the exception of Reece) providing their own song, the cd is also enhanced with a tour video made by Andrew Pates. The EP also featured a live recording of "Micro Melodies" a song that only appeared on the soundtrack for the film Moog, a documentary about Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. The track "Over The Pond" is also used in the film The Family Friend (L'Amico di Famiglia) by Paolo Sorrentino. This record saw more commercial success and popularity establishing LaValle's The Album Leaf on the map and playing to bigger audiences... Many of the tracks from In a Safe Place were used in the soundtracks for television shows such as The OC and CSI: Miami. Following the extensive touring, LaValle re-joined Tristeza filling in on guitar for 2 shows in Guadalajara and Mexico City in place of Alison Ables, the replacement to the band for himself. When he returned, LaValle began writing his next full length. In December of 2005, LaValle traveled to Seattle, Washington to Bearcreek Recording Studio to begin tracking the record. After tracking, he then traveled back to Sigur Rós' Sundlaugin studio to mix the record with the help of Brigir Jon Birgisson and Joshua Eustis (of Telefon Tel Aviv). Into the Blue Again On September 12, 2006, Into the Blue Again was released on Sub Pop Records in North America. The album saw an earlier release in Germany on September 8, 2006 and throughout the rest of Europe on September 11, 2006 courtesy of City Slang Records. Into the Blue Again sees a return to The Album Leaf's conception and LaValle handling virtually all instrumental duties. LaValle's few collaborators on Into the Blue Again are Josh Eutis of Telefon Tel Aviv, who aided additional drum programming and engineering on choice songs, The Black Heart Procession's Pall Jenkins adding vocal harmonies on "Wherever I Go," violinist Matt Resovich (who performs with The Album Leaf live, and also played on In a Safe Place), Drew Andrews adding additional guitar work on select songs (Drew also performs with The Album Leaf live) The Album Leaf has toured extensively through the United States, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, New Australia and Taiwan.

Reviews

The Album Leaf / Sun Kil Moon: Perils from the Sea | Album Reviews | Pitchfork

Has Mark Kozelek ever written a truer or more succinct description of his creative process than "Ceiling Gazing"? "Layin' in my bed ceiling gazing/ Wide awake with jet lag from Australia," he sings on the standout from Perils from the Sea, his new collaboration with Album Leaf founder Jimmy Lavalle. As a churchly organ repeats an insistently ascending phrase, Kozelek describes the stack of mail that awaited him after a tour, including "a wedding invitation from a new young relative I never even... Read More »

The Album Leaf - In An Off White Room (from Pop Matters)

The Album Leaf's In An Off White Room has a soothing sparseness to it, giving it a strange mix of natural beauty and otherworldliness. On this four song EP, beauty seems to be the true preoccupation, and each of the songs merge into something that is delightfully more atmosphere than music... Read More »

The Album Leaf - A Chorus Of Storytellers (from Gigwise)

To all but forget the existence of Sub Pop in the wake of Seattle's glory days is to degrees an embarrassing admission to make, but through bands like The Album Leaf its one that makes for far more of an enjoyable rediscovery... Read More »

The Album Leaf - In a Safe Place (from Gigwise)

San Diego's Jimmy LaValle (also found in Tristeza and The Black Heart Procession) accepted offers from his mates in Sigur Ros and Mum to travel to their native Iceland and record his latest LP, 'In a Safe Place'. The Album Leaf is the alias LaValle has used for his instrumental solo work since 1999.In a Safe Place is a mood dependent album, an introspective account of a city-dwelling American finding shelter in the pleasant, spacious terrain of a strange foreign land... Read More »

The album leaf - In a Safer Place (from Hour)

The "safer place" is Iceland, where California native Jimmy LaValle (The Locust, Black Heart Procession) recorded this, his third solo release since 1999's An Orchestrated Rise to Fall. Mostly instrumental, LaSalle's compositions are mellow and minimal, alternating between the guitar- and piano-based, but always interspersed by atmospheric chimes and the occasional violin, producing a maritime feel... Read More »

The Album Leaf - A Chorus of Storytellers (from Hour)

The Album Leaf has been Jimmy LaValle's baby now for 10-odd years (he formed the band as a side project to his group at the time, Tristeza) and A Chorus of Storytellers is already his fifth long-player. LaValle handles the songwriting duties while surrounding himself with collaborators (members of Sigur Ros to The Black Heart Procession), all the while mastering the playing of a dozen-or-so instruments, vocals and programming duties... Read More »

The Album Leaf - In A Safe Place (from Music-News)

This is going to be the first 5 star album/single that I have reviewed for Music-News.Com. In fact it is slightly ironic that I only have this four-track album sampler to review. I guess strictly speaking it is an EP! Anyway that aside, In a Safe Place is the third full length from The Album Leaf (Alias Jimmy LaValle). Featuring members of Sigur Ros, The Black Heart Procession, Mum and Jimmy La Velle himself, this was recorded over a three month period in Iceland late last year... Read More »

The Album Leaf - A Chorus Of Storytellers (from Clash Music)

Five albums in, The Album Leaf's Jimmy LaValle has taken the risky decision to utilize his touring band on this latest album, making for a much more collaborative effort. Whereas he previously played everything on studio releases, he has opened The Album Leaf up and acted as a conductor to the group of musicians. Mixed by Sigur Ros' Jon Birgisson in Iceland, LaValle can rest easy in the knowledge that his new, open attitude has reaped dividends... Read More »

The Album Leaf - A Chorus of Storytellers (from pitchfork)

Jimmy LaValle's career as the Album Leaf took off when he started opening for Sigur Rós (Jonsi produced prior albums), and since then, he's been offering a lower-stakes, more intimate take on what they've sort of perfected: a twinkling poptronica that could be arguably cast aside as new age if it weren't cut with just enough post-rock and IDM textures... Read More »

The Album Leaf - Into the Blue Again (from Spin)

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News

Insound Shutting Down

live chats with bands, streaming videos, and even an attempt at a social network. From 2000-2003, they released limited edition EPs from artists such as Bright Eyes and the Rapture as part of the Insound Tour Support Series. Insound helped launch the careers of bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, selling their self-released early records before they were easily available anywhere else. The people behind Insound also ran the record label Tiger Style, releasing music from Les Savy Fav, Ted Leo, Low, <span>the Album Leaf</span>, American Analog Set, Ida, and more. Insound Shutting Down Read More »

Song of the Day: Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle - What Happened to My Brother

the 2014 album Perils from the Sea on Caldo Verde Records. Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle - What Happened to My Brother (MP3) Mark Kozelek is known as the dour voice behind long-running projects Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters. Jimmy LaValle is best known under the moniker <span>The Album Leaf</span>, his electronic-based solo project. In 2013, the two combined forces for the full-length Perils From The Sea, released via Kozelek's own Caldo Verde label. Imagine a depressing (yet beautiful) version of The Postal Service. The collaboration began with nothing more than the artists being mutual fans. In an interview ... that were a lot of fun." Neither artist has spoken of a follow-up, but with results as inspiring as today's Song of the Day, we surely hope they won't continue the Postal Service's path of just releasing one amazing full-length, then calling it quits. Both are busy men: Kozelek is currently on tour overseas with his Sun Kil Moon project, and LaValle is finishing up a new <span>Album Leaf</span> full-length, due out later this year. You can follow <span>The Album Leaf</span> on Twitter and Facebook, while Kozelek (unsurprisingly) eschews social media. Song of the Day: Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle - What Happened to My Brother Read More »

Sun Kil Moon's 'Benji' Gets Vinyl Release

another 900 show up on yellow wax. The release will come packaged in a gatefold jacket, along with a lyric sheet insert. Caldo Verde has staggered CD and vinyl releases before, with Kozelek having unveiled a limited-edition vinyl release of 2013's Perils from the Sea collaboration with Jimmy LaValle (a.k.a. <span>the Album Leaf</span>) at the beginning of the month. The vinyl pressing has already sold out. Kozelek will also be issuing the concert set Live at Biko next Tuesday (July 1). While billed as a Kozelek solo set, it features tracks from Sun Kil Moon's Benji, including "Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes." Read More »

Album Review: Sun Kil Moon - Benji

his sick wife in a hospital, Kozelek tells every one of his stories in his signature weather-beaten mutter under the breath. If it were any other way, it wouldn't be Kozelek. Benji comes on the heels of last year's three Kozelek LPs, including the excellent Perils From The Sea with Jimmy Lavalle (<span>The Album Leaf</span>). But it seems that Kozelek saves his most confessional work for the Sun Kil Moon moniker - a hypothesis that Benji supports with painstaking and deeply effective strides. Each one of its songs tells a separate story about the pains of life and love and learning to be a better human being, one Read More »

Weekly RecommNeds | Brendan Canning, Kozelek And Lavalle

Kil Moon et al., has at least 3 albums out in2013, featuring differentcollaborations of one sort or another. They're all pretty great listens, but if I had topick one for you to test-drive, it'dbe Perils From the Sea recorded with <span>Album Leaf</span> multi-instrumentalist JimmyLavalle. Thealbum pits Kozelek's prolific songwriting/storytelling with hypnotic lo-fi sound to createa dreamy, how-long-did-I-zone-out-on-this? feel. The trick is Kozelek's lyrics: stream-of-consciousness paired withrealism and simplicity thathas you hanging on each line of verse. My personal favorites are "Ceiling Read More »

Mark Kozelek & Desertshore - "Brothers"

Later this summer, Mark Kozelek, the mordant/funny/depressive driving force behind Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon will release his third album of 2013, after the covers record Like Rats and <span>the Album Leaf</span> collab Perils From The Sea. This one is a full-length collab with Desertshore, the band led by former Red House Painters guitarist Phil Carney; Kozelek's served as a member of the band for their last two albums, but this time around, he's leading it. The album is simply called Mark Kozelek & Desertshore, and we've already posted its "Mariette" video. Yesterday, for Father's Day, Kozelek Read More »

PopWatch Playlist: First times that struck a chord -- LISTEN

hook-up seven seasons in the making, then during PLL's sexy-and-sad deception sex between Rosewood schemers Toby (Keegan Allen) and Spencer (Troian Bellisario). Scandal The song: David Holmes, "No More Time Outs" The scene: Though Liv (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) basically had eye sex to <span>The Album Leaf</span>'s "The Light" (their love theme), the pols first pressed flesh to Holmes' instrumental sizzler. Queer As Folk The song: The Aloof, "So Good" The scene: Pittsburgh's gay Lothario Brian (Gale Harold) had been around the block more than a few times before he took just-out Justin (Randy Read More »

Out This Week 4/30

Asheton, on their second and best yet post-comeback album, featuring among a few "jokey shock-novelty songs... some surprisingly poignant ballads." Grab all of these and more, including the debut of LA band Hands and a beautiful collaboration between Red House Painters / Sun Kil Moon frontman Mark Kozelek and <span>The Album Leaf</span>'s Jimmy Lavelle, at your favorite record shop today. And remember, every day is Record Store Day! !!! - Slyd (MP3) from THR!!!ER on Warp Adventure - Happiness (MP3) from Weird Work on Carpark Records Akron/Family - Until The Morning from Sub Verses on Dead Oceans Cayucas - East Coast Read More »

Album Of The Week: Coliseum Sister Faith

surprisingly smooth and song-oriented dance-party THR!!!ER. • Cayucas's warm, sunny indie-pop hookfest Bigfoot. • Beacon's pretty indie-R&B sighfest The Ways We Separate. • Colin Stetson's drone-skronk sax odyssey New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light. • Sun Kil Moon and <span>the Album Leaf</span>'s depressive full-length collaboration Perils From The Sea. • Akron/Family's wooly bugout Sub Verses. • Os Mutantes' English-language excursion Fool Metal Jack. • Guided By Voices umpteenth reunion album English Little League. • The Melvins' reliably deranged covers album Everybody Loves Sausages. • Read More »

Weekly Round-Up: Friday 26th April

is available over here, and Iggy Pop and The Stooges are previewing their first studio album James Williamson has played on since 1973's Raw Power, called Ready To Die here: please don't be bad. Perils from the Sea, by Mark Kozalek (Sun Kil Moon) and Jimmy LaValle (<span>Album Leaf</span>) is also streaming over here. Remix singles abound this week: Atoms for Peace have remixed Four Tet's 'Pyramid', Unknown Mortal Orchestra gives Lindstrom's 'Rà-àkõ-st' a crack while Dirty Projectors try their hand at one of Phoenix's latest singles, 'Entertainment'. Local two-piece Mean Girls have dropped an EP, featuring Read More »

Now playing: The Album Leaf - Within Dreams