"Seven ugly reasons kept me away from you then," croons Leif Vollebekk. "Nothing much weaker than the resolve of most men." The song is Elegy, a fluid, tuneful piano-based lament with a chorus ("Take a look at me now") that Phil Collins can verify as being forlorn, not boastful.
The track is included on the graceful Montrealer's third album, Twin Solitude. About Elegy, Vollebekk has said the song came to him fully formed, while he was riding a bicycle. He assumed he'd heard it before, and still wonders if it is someone else's. "Because it was so different for me, I thought: 'Well, this isn't the kind of song I write but then that's the whole point,'" he told CBC Music. So, he went with it, on an album that marks a stylistic transition from his folk-troubadour past to something dreamier.
The new (and improved?) Vollebekk arrives to Toronto's Mod Club on Sunday, following a sold-out show at Ottawa's First Baptist Church on Friday. The songs of Twin Solitude reflect time on the road – All Night Sedans, Vancouver Time, Big Sky Country, Michigan – and move with a lovely drift. It's his best work yet. Take a look at him now. Brad Wheeler
Leif Vollebekk plays April 16, 8 p.m. $19.50. Mod Club, 722 College St., 416-872-4255 or https://www.masseyhall.com/tickets/current/2017/april/leif-vollebekk/.