CD Review – ‘LEAF’ by LEAF

Genre: Pagan Folk


I will admit that I’m not sure how to type-set this album name, or the band name, having seen it written a few different ways on official things alone!  I bought this E.P. album at Castlefest as it was on someone else’s merchandise stand, or maybe the general C.D. stand, I don’t remember, and have listened to it quite a lot since.
The strength of this E.P. is that it is extremely listenable to, if that’s even grammatically correct. It’s gentle enough to work as background noise but also intricate enough to sound good if you concentrate on it.
The E.P. is a bit of a mish mash of different things but it works well as a whole. I guess the only song that stands out obviously is ‘Wind and Tree’ because it’s a lot more rhythmic and also because it’s in English which does make a difference. Other than that we have one love song, a nature poem, a love spell, and two instrumental tracks which do seem to fit together quite well probably because the timbre of those languages are more similar to English, especially with the technique of singing used.
As stand-alone tracks, all of the tunes and songs on the E.P. are strong. The first song ‘Under Nymånen’ is really pretty. It’s delicate and soft and a perfect introduction to the rest of the C.D. ‘Fjarilar’ has a slightly darker tone, to match its subject matter, and contrasts the high vocals with low instrumentation beautifully. Wind and Tree is a wonderful song as despite the story told being a slightly fantastical tale of a tree ‘falling in love with the wind’, the emotions felt, the bitterness, the hope, the ultimate resignation, and the lack of blame are emotions that anyone may feel with the end of a relationship, often at the same time. ‘Frühlingstanz’ and ‘Winter’ are the two instrumental tracks and fit together well in subject matter and in tone, the former being a fast spring dance (as the name suggests!) with the latter being a slower tune which has ideas of sadness as well as splendour. ‘Bundet’ is something quite special. Based on a Faroese love spell which has been translated into “a very old and almost lost Norwegian dialect”, the tune has kept the mystic origins of the words being said.
At the moment, as far as I am aware, this C.D. can only be purchased through sending an email to Kaat (address on the website) who is the vocalist and manager for the band. I was too shy to do this (*) even though it had been tempting me for a while, hence why I got it at the festival. I would urge people not to be silly like me and to contact her and purchase a copy of the disk as I believe it’s worthwhile!

(*) People think I’m outgoing but I seriously hate emailing or phoning people that I don’t know, even if it’s for a legitimate reason, because I might interrupt something important or I might annoy them or something stupid like that. 

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