Multi-instrumentalist Jimmy LaValle, the man behind the Album Leaf, wasn't always such a mellow fellow. Back in the '90s, he got his first taste of large-scale musical appreciation as a guitarist with Tristeza, a singing-free combo capable of unleashing a righteous clangor on cuts such as "El Mirador," and while drumming for GoGoGo Airheart, a punky San Diego outfit. On his own, however, he's tended to speak, and play, more quietly. Into the Blue Again, the most recent Album Leaf effort (it's from 2006) is a deliberate piece of work, juxtaposing lovely vocal tracks such as "Always for You" ("Before the ocean, I pray/And I said your name") and dreamy instrumentals like "Shine," which does just that for nearly six rapturous minutes. According to AL's MySpace page, a new recording is slated for 2010, and that's a good thing, since LaValle brings an intelligence and sensitivity to the indie scene that's as rare as it is welcome.
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