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The Leaf Library at St Pancras Old Church, London, 2016

The Leaf Library are the World Champions of drone-pop. The successful combination of somnambulist drone music and melodic pop music may seem an unlikely pairing but take a trip through “City in Reverse” and hear for yourself:

The gentle propulsion of the bass notes here is backed by a aural haze of tones. Within these you catch what almost sounds like the rise and fall of church bells wafting across parkland from afar on a warm summer breeze.

It’s the simplicity and minimalism here, repetition drenched in atmospheric tonal complexity, along with the rhythmic push and pull, the calm observant paired vocals, layered harmonies and the melody all working together that makes The Leaf Library masters of the understated elegance of drone-pop.

It’s from a new 7″ single out this week called “City in Reverse”/ Kendick Road”.  In addition to the two songs on the 7″, the download version comes with 4 extra tracks – re-mixes of songs off their earlier masterpiece album “Daylight Versions”. Although “re-mixes” is an inadequate way to describe the way these songs are pulled inside-out, stretched and teased into all sorts of weird and wonderful new shapes and inventive directions.

The music of The Leaf Library is forever associated with an unusually searing hot couple of days in London in mid-September last year during when I saw the band plus small woodwind orchestra play Daylight Versions live at Old St Pancras Church in London. Their music soundtracks memories of that week, particularly Kew Gardens with its intriguing art + drone installation The Hive and the endless hum and drone of a city of almost 9 millions people (and their machines).


The Hive – Kew Gardens