Night Time Stories
The debut album from London-based producer, Leifur James, is certainly an immersive one. His LP follows two impressive single releases and finds him exploring an expansive soundscape that welcomes diversity and experimentation with equal vigour. Subtly weaving through varied textures, James effortlessly sews together elements of electronica, classical, jazz, blues, soul and world music to create a restless and fascinating mesh of styles. Dubby synths sit beside warm pads, hazy guitars, jazz breaks, lush keys and succulent bass as the Londoner finds an atmosphere that is at once laidback, energetic and purposeful. His instrumentation has a soft, cushioned feel, adding variety and intrigue while allowing us to sink into his beautifully layered arrangements. James’ ability to conjure up the feeling of space in this album is astonishing. Swathes of the album feel stretched out, low-slung and improvisational. It brings up the feeling of a smoky jazz club but also allows individual instruments the space to occupy our full attention and to lead us off down a hazy path before being pulled back in once again through the record’s perpetually shifting trajectory. Moments of blissful, structured intensity are juxtaposed with stillness – dark and light; loud and quiet. It’s in these unexplored gems that James reveals the most of the imaginary world we glimpse in this magnificent record. A wonderfully accomplished debut, A Louder Silence introduces a singular artist who revels in playing with boundaries.