Leif Vollebekk is a remarkable Montreal based singer-songwriter and multi- instrumentalist. He is in the midst of an extensive tour in celebration of his third album Twin Solitude. Vollebekk has been touring with the brilliant Gregory Alan Isakov and has previously toured with Canadian gems Daniel Lanois and Patrick Watson.
Vollebekk’s concert at the Biltmore was notably packed especially in comparison to the last concert of his I attended in 2015 at the intimate and tiny Media Club. It is clear Twin Solitude has put him on the music map he deserves to be on. It’s a beautiful album, as are Inland (2010) and North Americana (2013). His music is highly emotive and rarely visceral. His compassionate lyrical delivery is mesmerizing, it’s as if his lyrics hurt to sing yet he must release the words. He appears almost possessed by his own complexity. It’s clear Vollebekk can’t not make music, his entire body is ubiquitously immersed in the art of doing so. Although his music is emotional it never feels sorry for itself. He writes whimsical songs about falling in and out of love and the vast beauty of Canadian cities. He sings about friends, wine, perfume, book stores, evolving, devolving and the road to Venus. His unusual and striking voice that generously belt his expressive lyrics are reminiscent of Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake.
This performance was cripplingly captivating, everyone was frozen by the wrath of his lullabies. He sang a diverse set of well selected songs from his bank of material. His knack for covers is impressive which is apparent in his rendition of The Killer’s Ready my Mind. He finalized this concert with Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You which not only shattered me into a fervent mosaic but also proves the profound talent of this young man. His music is a wonderfully unusual landmark in Canadian folk that grips to your ribs.