RADAR: Leif Vollebekk

Following his 2010 debut Inland, Montreal singer/songwriter Leif Vollebekk decided he wanted to make one of those classic "new/old" albums, filled with timeless songs that he said could "hold up in a storm." The songs, it turned out, came pretty easy. Everything else didn't. The arrangements and production -- the sound in his mind -- proved elusive.  “All this time,” Vollebekk says, “trying to get one take." He and his rhythm section crisscrossed from Montreal to New York to France and then back to Montreal. He even met up with legendary producer John Simon (Leonard Cohen, The Band) to record a song only to discard the result. Eventually, piece by piece, he banged out the ten songs that were to become North Americana, an aptly-titled album filled with one brilliant song after another. A cover of The Killers' "Read My Mind" alone is worth the price of the album, a superb piano ballad that sounds like an instant and enduring classic -- and it is.  “I feel like I created a record from 1970-something that no one’s heard before,” says Vollebekk. Just out in Canada, there's no word on a U.S. release yet for North Americana -- stay tuned (Update: arriving January 28, 2014). More after the jump...

Leif Vollebekk - 'Read My Mind' (from North Americana)
Leif Vollebeck - 'Off the Main Drag' (from New Americana)