The Album Leaf’s new record ‘A Chorus of Storytellers’ is a very nice album. They’ve been recording for the last ten years and are signed to Sub Pop records, which should tell you something, although I’ve never heard of them before. Possibly because they’re so nice. You know like one of those people that you get introduced to when you meet a friend, say, outside the cinema. Who’s that with Alex, you think. You say hello, shake hands – even if it’s a girl. It feels a bit odd shaking hands with a girl but then kissing someone you don’t know is a bit odd too. They seem very nice. They don’t say much but look friendly enough and while you end up chatting to your friend they smile and laugh along with the jokes. You’ve got to go in, your film’s about to start. Plus you still need to get popcorn (mix salt/sweet of course) so you say “Nice to meet you!” and never think of that person again.
So, uh, yeah that’s this album. Warm and electronica-tinged, some vocals but mainly instrumentals. Definitely not unpleasant to listen to. Not really saying anything though. Like if you’re at a party in one of those bars where you have to shout everything although you haven’t drunk enough for the shouting to come naturally. Just as you’re thinking to yourself about how stupid it is that these places actually make you have to get pissed as a basic operating requirement. You’re about to head to the bar, or better still maybe just disappear entirely when someone says hello. You don’t even recognise them but they know your name. It’s bad enough forgetting someone’s name but forgetting their whole face is terrible. Eventually you piece it together, you ask if they’ve seen Alex, yes, he’s coming down later. Then that’s it, you’re just making excruciating small talk with someone, desperately scanning the room for one of your friends even though you hate people who scan the room, and so you’ve become something that you hate and all because this person is just nice.
Oh yeah, sorry, the album. That’s what happens. You start off listening to it – then four or five minutes later you come out of a train of thought and remember you were supposed to listening to it.
It would make good film soundtrack music. It’s melodic and courses with pleasant emotion and I can imagine Gael Garcia Bernal doing something cool up the side of sunbaked mountain with ‘A Chorus of Storytellers’ playing in the background. But I’d get someone else to write the main theme.
3/5 (Although if you’re building an Ikea wardrobe it gets 5/5)