Blips | Leif Vollebekk and Ages and Ages

In our never-ending quest to dig up great bands whose tickets cost less than a corned beef sandwich at your local deli, we bring you our latest round of Blips here on JamBase. The idea behind Blips is to form a lasting relationship with acts we believe to have bright futures and stick with them as they develop and grow. We view Blips as a progression that begins with a mention in a Blips segment, then leads to a Blips Update, and ultimately culminates in a feature length interview. In this edition, we have some really cool new music, so take a sec, poke around the bands’s various websites and see what you think of these two under-the-radar acts....

Check out songs from this edition of Blips and previous featured acts through these handy RDIO and Spotify playlists as part of the new JamBase channels for each.

Leif Vollebekk

Website / Facebook

When you’re faced with a winter that had us all become familiar with something called the “Polar Vortex” it’s nice to take comfort in something that can make you feel warm and cozy. For me, time and time again that was North Americana - the sophomore album from Leif Vollebekk. The Montreal-based singer-songwriter has crafted one of my go-to records of the year, with its inviting and enveloping story songs. Vollebekk has a knack for penning confessional songs, whose lyrics paint vivid pictures of everyday people, places and situations from long subway rides to obsessively listening to records and romantic encounters.

Recorded at studios in New York City, Montreal and France, Vollebekk has crafted an album that has this warm organic feel which is anchored by his honey-smoked vocals and the matter-of-fact way he delivers them. The ten-track effort leans heavily on acoustic coffeehouse folk, but is highlighted by a handful of impassioned “rockers” that tip their caps heavily to Jeff Buckley and Ryan Adams’s early solo efforts. Lief Vollebekk is currently on-tour with likeminded folkie William Fitzsimmons, and will make his debut at the Newport Folk Festival this summer.

R.I.Y.L.: Ryan Adams , Jeff Buckley , Doug Paisley

Ages and Ages

Website / Facebook

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein have done a fantastic job satirizing Portland on their must-watch sketch-comedy show Portlandia. The show will have you believing that everyone who inhabits the Rose City takes themselves just a little too seriously about everything from community issues to the origins of their farm-to-table meal. Tim Perry formed the band Ages and Ages as a direct reaction to something similar that he was seeing in the city’s music scene - a general sense of apathy – and decided to make music that would be uplifting and world view changing.

The septet, who released their sophomore album Divisionary via Partisan Records last week, play an instantly likable brand of acoustic-based psychedelic-pop. The eleven-track record, while routed in some personal hard times for some of the band members, has an exuberant care-free bounce to it full of hand-claps, choral harmonies and earworm sing- alongs. Taking its cues from both Fleetwood Mac and The Mamas & The Papas and dare I say musical theater (it’s hard not to think of the musical Hair when listening to them), Ages and Ages are currently playing some of the best “feel good” music going right now.

R.I.Y.L.: Blind Pilot , Polyphonic Spree, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes

Written By: Jeffrey Greenblatt

[Published on: 4/4/14]

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