Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Levek - Look A Little Closer (2012)

While standing outside waiting for Conveyor/Illuminator's split 7" release show at Pianos, I revealed that that night would be my first every exposure to Gainesville's Levek. Faced with my revelation, Connor (of I Guess I'm Floating) explained to me that Levek's live set is nothing at like their recorded output - which functioned both as a ringing endorsement as well as cushion for the blow that was sure to follow.

Faced with returning to a normal existence after an absolutely amazing live set, I took solace in the only available option until their eventual return - A 9 song demo EP and a single, that is until the release announcement of Levek's debut full length Look A Little Closer. Gifted with a preview in the form of two album tracks "Black Mold Grow" and "French Lessons", it became instantly clear that Levek's full length would not only be like no other but it wouldn't even resemble the Levek I had the privilege to experience.

One of my favorite aspects about Levek remains the unclassifiable nature of David Levesque's creations, a feat that Look A Little Closer manages to hold onto even as it saunters through a varying amount of distinct musical movements. At times Levesque recalls the Brazilian pop and lounge rock stylings that made artists like Sondre Lerche stand out among a sea of songwriters but in a manner that's beyond mere imitation as an appreciation and intimate knowledge is clearly at play here. From rambling bossa nova of "Terra Treasures", Tropicalia infused "Muscat Mingle", Paul Simon-esque "Canterbury Bell", to the funky swaggering bass of "Can't Buy This Love", Look A Little Closer is a multi-layered beast that requires you to do exactly what it's name suggests.  

Anything resembling genre passes like a hit and run, Levesque's forays into notable music references fleeting or used sparingly enough to appropriately color the tracks but leave no real definitive traces. Look A Little Closer is a hard album to pin down for all the right reasons - filled with a wealth of ideas utilized effectively to create both a sense of exciting unpredictability and intimate comfort. Levek's debut is guaranteed to win you over on the first listen with each subsequent one revealing more and more of the intricacies of Levesque's expansive many-textures gems and winsome musical knowledge. Even as Levesque stitches together a multitude of influences and sounds, the album plays like a dream both in its airy, sometimes otherworldly textures and also its straight cohesiveness. Look A Little Closer is not only a work of remarkable talent but also charming uniqueness; a stunningly impressive and richly enjoyable effort from Levek.

Levek's Look A Little Closer is out now on Lefse Records. You can purchase it here as well as stream it on Spotify.

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