Album Review :
Leem of Earth - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3

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Label: Velvet Blue Music
Release Dates: October 26, 2018, February 8, 2019 and June 7, 2019
EPs: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3
Score: 4.5

Atmospheric, floating, literary and lush. Leem of Earth has completed their trilogy with the June 7th release of Chapter 3,  the third EP in their belletristic series: Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. In all three efforts, the band from Pensacola, Florida, creates a fragile wall of sound that hearkens between the fuzz and soundscapes of 90s 4AD shoegaze bands and the ethereal charm of Mazzy Star, The Sundays, Cocteau Twins and The Innocence Mission.

The band consists of the succinctly designated:

LM: Guitars, Keys and Vocals
B: Guitar
N: Bass
E: Drums, Vocals and Production

All three EPs were co-produced by Jeremy Simeon Howell Griffith (Norma Jean, Underoath, Saosin), Chris Taylor (BEC recordings) and LM and were mastered by Jonathan Berlin (Sunbears, Johnnyswim).

As you may expect, there’s a cohesive narrative between the three EPs. At times it soars both sonically and with an uplifting chorus of voice and at others, it’s pensive and longing. There is seemingly a purposeful story arc and in the interest of laboring on this theme, falls into the voyage and return archetype.

Chapter 1 starts with “The Beech Tree’s Song,” a song disguised as a gentle, score-like piano piece, but sonically punctuated with soaring guitars and drums. The EP is rounded out by “Inland,” a slow burn, and “Southland,” which shows the band flexing some grunge influence.

Chapter 2 starts with the synth laden “Water,” continues with “Faithful Lights” and ends with “Only so Many Ways”. This group of songs is more contemplative, but always engaging. It’s hard not to think of the ebb and flow of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, produced by Brian Eno, as you take in the three EPs as one narrative.

Chapter 3 finishes with “Wishing Well,” “Dressed for War,” and “Army of Dry Bones.” These songs have some of LM’s most endearing vocal performances. It never races, but rather paces towards a climax. It has the sound of a veteran band compelled by the confidence of their songwriting ability from start to finish. In other words, it’s thoughtfully crafted and without anything that feels like filler. Perhaps an advantage of approaching a production of three, three-song EPs rather than one full-length album.

The literature framing is, well, quite literal. Lyrically they pull from heavyweights George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis. Most of their songs read like poems that range in theme from longing, faith and love. It circles back to our voyage and return—a protagonist thrust into worlds seeking fulfillment and encountering mythical and human monsters alike, but always guided by something bigger.

Velvet Blue Music (Starflyer 59, Lassie Foundation, Denison Marrs, Stavesacre) continues to enrich their already impressive catalog curated by the Almighty Jeff Cloud. Digital and Tape Formats of all 3 chapters are available.

I for one cannot wait for the future of this incredible band. Get into it!!!!!!

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J Lee Harshbarger
January 19, 2020 1:16 am

I’m so glad to have stumbled across this page! I love shoegaze music and bands like Cocteau Twins and Velour 100, so I’m delighted to learn of this group. Thanks for featuring them.

August 16, 2019 7:10 pm

Wishing well has to be one of the best songs of the year. Just so different and such a great build.

June 18, 2019 7:30 pm

A really interesting find! I love the big atmosphere they have, but from the brief listen I’ve gotten it sounds like it might get very sleepy over long listening. The music seems to vary quite a bit but the vocals don’t seem to rise and fall much, and sit deep in the mix. It sounds good though so I’m excited to try digging in more

Loyd Harp
June 16, 2019 8:51 am

Well-written Jezza!

Derek O.
Derek O.
June 15, 2019 7:26 pm

Solid suggestion! Thanks for the heads up!

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