October 3, 2012

The Doe Bay Sessions: Gold Leaves


Gold LeavesPhoto: Josh Lovseth
Gold Leaves

I was not that into Gold Leaves when I first heard them. Despite certain friends giving me shocked looks, questioning whether or not I should even be allowed to have opinions if I couldn’t form a definite and positive one about this band. It wasn’t that Grant Olsen’s voice didn’t charm me with its heady weight, or that the splashes of psychedelia mixed all spin-art style with dirty soul weren’t right up my alley. It just didn’t…hit me at the right time. Every time I heard Olsen’s fabulous debut, The Ornament, I just didn’t feel anything.

Sometimes music, songs or bands that have been right under your nose, don’t make sense until that rare, click-and-it’s-in-place, AH HA moment. Maybe it takes a new angle, a new setting, a new mindset. Maybe it takes evergreen filagree and a hazy afternoon far away on the Sound. I wasn’t expecting this to be the case with Gold Leaves, a band I thought I would always know intellectually was good, but would never reach that raw place in me.

I am so often wrong about things.

When I heard this session, with only a fiddle, two guitars, and dappled light sparkling and mingling with Olsen’s dense, burnished voice, it all flooded in. It was as though something cracked under the weight of that first “I hear you calling from the river bank/ I will be coming when the air is blank/ All my time is lying on the factory floor” and I was swallowed whole. All we had to do was take Gold Leaves out of the staggering momentum of the day-to-day, out from under the gauze of production, and into the forest in its birthday suit so I could finally see its true form.

Gold Leaves next Seattle show is Thursday October 18th at The Crocodile as part of the City Arts Fest.

1 Comment

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  1. This is really great. Big fan of their record and they hold up fantastically live, this represents that well! Saw them in Portland opening for Vetiver, it was especially neat cuz I’m from the other side of the continent and had gotten into town that evening. Made our stay special!

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