You can never have too many warm ballads during these chilling winter months. Designed for homey, dimly lit, close-knit quarters, the acoustic songs off of Leif Vollebekk’s debut album “North Americana” are less of a confession and more of a natural reflection of life’s lost details. In a related instance, “Off the Main Drag” tries its best to fit the bill of a love song, but instead focuses on his relationship’s faint and trivial particulars set adrift amidst humanity’s dulling tendencies. Perhaps the biggest pull within this simple story is Vollebekk’s interaction with common occurrences that to most wouldn’t mean anything, but to him are nothing short of brilliant. Walking into a familiar gas station, going on a brief road trip within a borrowed car, following basic childhood advice from his father into early adulthood…all of these things would represent stinted afterthoughts to most, yet mean everything to Vollebekk while he’s contented in a loosely-developed relationship.

‘Tis the season of endless plugs! Leif Vollebekk’s new single “Elegy” is another likely suspect to be featured in my “Best of 2016: Q4” playlist, as a chilling grand piano overpowers the lightened emotional defenses that winter brings while drummer boy-esque percussion retains a tight focus on the overall scope of the tune. Vollebekk briefly touches upon the love described in “Off The Main Drag”, as he now beckons for that love he once held onto so flimsily. At the very least, he yearns for the feeling of satisfaction within life’s moments of monotony that often overlay the joys of human duality. It’s tough to give Vollebekk direction in this odd endeavor given that giving advice to a guy who doesn’t know what he’s searching for is a challenge in itself.