HOUSE OF LEAF (Leif Sundin) – ST (2012)
HOUSE OF LEAF marks the solo debut of one of Sweden’s most talented singers, songwriters and musicians: Leif Sundin. Among insiders, he is considered a singer’s singer.
We have presented here some months ago a promotional material by House Of Leaf, and now Leif has officially released the CD, simply entitled “House Of Leaf”
Sundin has been the lead vocalist of many a well-known bands since the start of his singing career. At 19, Leif fronted Swedish band Great King Rat. At 24, he was asked to join the Michael Schenker Group.
After MSG, he was the lead vocalist in John Norum Band, forging a creative relationship that still lasts. More recently, he provided lead vocals for the long-awaited solo album by ex-Thin Lizzy legend Brian Robertson.
Besides, the man wrote and sung backing vocals for acts as diverse as Andy McCoy, Talisman, Pandora and dozens of other artists.
And now, it’s time for his own project House Of Leaf.
Written and produced by Sundin himself, recorded and engineered with Robert Wellerfors, the album consists of the best songs he’s written over the years.
Leif Sundin could easily have done a metal, a blues or a pop album if he wanted. This time, choosed to focus on timeless, rootsy, soulful Classic Rock with some melodious Americana approach, using the pure sound of guitars, bass, drums and ‘THAT’ voice.
The opening track “Wrongs To Right” comes right at you with a catchy rhythm combination of guitars, keyboards and occasional harmonica. The sound creates a lovely, live, real effect, reinforced by Sundin’s colorful vocals.
“Someday, Somewhere” features a heavier guitar intro and the structure brings to mind American great Tom Petty, but with an extra dosis of melodies.
“Wash Away Yesterday” is a fantastic ballad featuring some beautifully poetic lyrics and a musical style similar to the recent Mark Spiro album. The guitar solo is deep and melodic surrounded by a Hammond organ.
Another great tune is “Rainy Day Song”, and ideed makes you think of raindrops running down a window. There’s a gentle acoustic guitar theme through the song that makes you want to get up and sway to the music.
On “Broken Old Record” the consistent use of acoustic guitars and Hammond infuses a more folksy feel, while “Steal Your Love” is a stripped-back song with emotional lyrics.
One of my favorites is closer “Follow The Lights” which ups the tempo again showing Sundin undeniable rock roots. This is a superb dynamic melodic rock tune with driving acoustics and a sparkling guitar solo.
“House Of Leaf” is classy and timeless Classic Rock. Even on hearing it for the very first time, it strikes a chord in your memory and you feel like you’ve loved this music forever.
The album demonstrates the tremendous skills and experience of the musician behind it, and the fact that Leif Sundin is more than just an outstanding singer.
What makes this versatile multi-instrumentalist special is his aptitude to write heart warming lyrics that conveys the emotions of one’s yearning and optimism all through music – music which can be described Rock of Ages.
Leif’s voice really suits the mood and tone of this album. It’s strong yet husky, sometimes mellow with an occasional hint of vulnerability.
If you like Mark Spiro’s works, “House Of Leaf” is right up your valley.
It’s organic, it’s real, and it’s based on performances rather than studio trickery. Real music, and you can feel it.
01 – Wrongs to Right
02 – Steal Your Love
03 – That Train Just Left
04 – Wash Away Yesterday
05 – Rainy Day Song
06 – Someday Somewhere
07 – Broken Old Record
08 – Under the Broken Sky
09 – Out of My Head
10 – Follow the Lights
BUY IT !