An adopted member of the Scottish DIY music scene whose life and art has been heavily shaped by northern landscapes and climes, L.T. Leif is rooted in the self-sufficient spirit of the Canadian prairies, and carries with them the indelible experience of spells spent living in Iceland and Finland. Leif has been involved in many bands and projects, first entering the scene with Calgary orchestral pop sweethearts The Consonant C. Since the group disbanded in 2011, Leif has explored many configurations and approaches, from experimental noise collaborations with the infamous Bug Incision crew to playing sold-out shows with the punk-hearted OK JAZZ, drumming with slacker-rock bands (Hex Ray and Hungry Freaks), playing synths with Matt Swann (of Astral Swanns), and singing in a witch choir (Hermitess). Leif’s admirers include K Records maestro Calvin Johnson (they toured together with The Believer Magazine).
Demoed in a room on Glasgow’s Great Western Road and built intercontinentally with contributions both remote and in-person from pals near and far including Clea Anaïs, Bill Wells, Matt Swann, eagleowl’s Clarissa Cheong and Bart Owl, Faith Eliott and Mark Hamilton (Woodpigeon), Come Back To Me, But Lightly is a magical collection of sensually sylvan songs about “the body, loss as a decision, and knowing your own desire as a radical act,” says Leif. “It has a lot of imagery and thought from the northern places I’ve been living, and takes inspiration from minimalist writers, painters, and thinkers. This album comes from a six-year long space of change, from a life I was living as someone afraid of my own brain and body, into someone a lot more openly unshiney. Painful and seeping. I think that distance and decisions and loss and conflict are all things that can birth you into a different kind of being.”
About the first single from the album ‘No Birds’, Leif writes:
“I read once that some of the hardest and most valuable work to be done under capitalism is in wanting what you want to want [I first encountered this in Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing, an excellent anti-capitalist book about the attention economy]. The forthcoming album is about the blazing sun, and about changing my life completely! And this song came from the first edge of it, when I was starting to see what it was that I wanted: the dual realities of what is already and what is desired instead, overlayed like the hands of a ghost. It’s a kind of infidelity towards the life you’re living and its surrounding culture, even when beloved, when you begin to imagine something differently: that fresh day slipping out past the curtain.
“The tension here comes from how what I was imagining didn’t exist yet within the culture I was living in, how even if I could see it there clearly as an option, people all around me were confidently denying it. I don’t think I knew exactly what it was that I wanted yet, but I could see it there, glimmering! The flashlight of desire.
“All that wanting helps you choose what you let become real. This song is a treatise towards the shimmery possibilities we feel in there from time to time, when they are different from what’s been handed down to us. The cover image is of the beloved hands of a long-term partner, taken when our lives were entwined, but the wrong ones for both of us, before I moved away and built a new kind of life.”