9 p.m. Saturday
Blue Note Lounge
2408 N. Robinson Ave.
While listening to the opening track of Leaf Hands’ Your Imagination, it’s almost impossible to not stare at the cover art: a bleak, early-winter rural landscape wherein distant figures huddle together and feel a lo-fi sense of melancholy.
The lazy guitar and the clickity-clack percussion loom like the bastard child of Jandek and Belle and Sebastian, grown up and obsessed with mild folktronica. It’s ominous, comforting and beautifully introspective.
This bleeds nicely into “Drift,” which takes that sullen ambiance and swirls it left to right with singer Cooper Whitson’s off-kilter voice acting as a blanket for the chill that the music leaves in the air. With “Sink Full,” “Lived In” and the exquisitely dense and naturalistic “Hummingbird,” it’s impossible to not look for deeper meaning in the album’s cover.
Remember that scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when the gang is at the museum? Cameron stares into Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, connecting with the boy’s increasing nothingness in the painting as an instrumental version of the Smiths’ “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” fills the background.
That was what happened to me as I listened to Your Imagination, and it’s a feeling that is hard to shake. In retrospect, it’s a feeling I don’t want to shake, an album I don’t want to shake.
Listen to Your Imagination at leafhandsmusic.bandcamp.com. —Louis Fowler