Nobody embodies creativity quite like Jimmy LaValle, who you might know better as The Album Leaf. Creating and recreating new sounds is what he’s known for, so we caught up with him ahead of his performance at lookOUT Fest to find out what’s new (so much, including an EP!) and what it was like reimagining one of Album Leaf’s most popular albums for its 20th anniversary.

LOOKOUT FEST 👉 This all day indoor-outdoor fest is coming up September 3rd! Come explore the lookOUT Fest Vendor Market for free and then grab a ticket for the 6-band music lineup feauring The Album Leaf, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Mary Lattimore, and so much more.

MEET JIMMY LAVALLE of THE ALBUM LEAF
Photo by Michael Raines

Long Center: We’re so excited to have you as a part of the inaugural lookOUT Fest lineup! Rumor has it that you’ve played in Austin once or twice already. Is that true? Any special memories here?

Jimmy: I have been playing in Austin regularly since the late ’90s. So, yes, I’ve been here once or twice 😊 I think the most special memories are with the friends I’ve made here throughout the years. The American Analog Set crew — we’ve toured together, gone to Taiwan together. My first official booking agent was from Austin, Courtney Cooper (Slip Productions), there are countless SXSW performances, Sub Pop showcases, changing a broken Rhodes tine on stage at Emo’s mid-show. Many, many good times have been had here. I love the city.

Long Center: Reading your touring history is so fascinating. Capping everything off with celebrating the 20th anniversary of One Day I’ll Be On Time in the midst of the pandemic, do you have any favorite career moments from the last two decades? What made you decide to reimagine this particular album at this time?

Jimmy: Anniversaries are special, and tricky to celebrate. I’d like to think I’ve grown as an artist over the last 20+ years, so the idea of recreating a record I made in my early 20s was exciting. I didn’t want to fix any mistakes per se, I just thought I could bring my years of production experience to celebrate the record in a new way. Typically, bands will go out and play the record front to back. I’ve never been interested in that. I think it’s more exciting to revisit it and see what new twist you can put on something.

Long Center: You include so many different instruments and electronics in your music. Do you have a favorite or even a top three? Any specific type that you’d recommend as the best tool for new electronic music makers?

Jimmy: I’m immediately drawn to synthesizers and creating new sounds. I also do a lot of sampling of sounds I create to further manipulate the sound. I’m really interested in creating something new, even if it’s a standard sine wave — what you can do on the other end creates something fresh.

I fell in love with the sound of a Rhodes piano when I first played one back in the late ’90s. I’ve had the same Rhodes since then and it’s made an appearance on every record. Since my sound has changed and progressed through the years, I’ve moved on from playing it live, using a Nord instead because I run a lot of midi messaging in the show, trigginger sounds I’ve created from multi-sampling. But in general, I’ve always loved and gravitated toward the sound of acoustic analog instruments mixed with electronics.

Long Center: This season we’ve been encouraging our readers to get back out there and give into their curiosity to discover new artists, hobbies, art, or cool things in the neighborhood.

What have you been curious about? What will you explore next — in your music, in your own backyard, anything?

Jimmy: I’ve stayed away from modular synthesis for many years and now I’m diving in. It’s been something I’ve always been curious about, but when it became really popular over the last decade, there was a lot of noise being made. There’s beauty in that but I really look to create melody. I’ve discovered many exciting records and artists over the pandemic that have really inspired me to step into that space. I’m excited to see where it takes me.

Long Center: Any new projects or albums in the works that you can share with us?

Jimmy: I’ve been working on a new record for a really long time. Every time I make solid headway and can see the finish line, I’ll be offered a film to score so that sets me back with its deadline. Then during the scoring process, I create new sounds that I get really excited about, so I go back to the body of work I was ready to release and start to work on it again. I’m nearing the end again 😊

But, I’m on two films currently that will release over in 2023. I also will release my score to Something in the Dirt, the last film I scored that will release in theaters this October, I believe. So, new music will be coming, just not a proper Album Leaf record until 2023. But I will start to release a series of singles coming up soon. Finally sharing new music! I also just released an EP a week ago, called Past and Future Tense.

Long Center: Could you give us a little tease about what you’ll be playing at lookOUT Fest?

Jimmy: Well, expect a typical Album Leaf show that will include visual eye candy along with selections from the last 20 years. And you might just hear something new, too!

lookOUT - KUTX & AC

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

One more mixtape for you, folks, until lookOUT Fest commences on September 3rd. If you’re just joining us, we’ve embarked on a series of mixtapes curated by three of the bands performing on our lookOUT lineup to get us ready for the big day.

This week, it’s a bright, shiny cassette tape created for you by The Album Leaf, and we hear that Jimmy LaValle himself put it together. 

After you pop this one into your tape player, make sure you listen to our other two mixtape experiences from Felt Out and The Kraken Quartet. And once you’re done there, check out Album Leaf’s newest album One Day XX

Artist Mixtape: Curated for you by The Album Leaf

Tracklist

EURYBIA (feat. Polonius)  //  Francesca Heart

IN EVERYONE REPEATING  //  Asa Tone

BY FOOT BY SEA  //  Jeremiah Chiu & Sofia Maria Honer

MIRROR  //  Dolphin Midwives

AMYGDALA  //  Jako Jako

MOIRÉ – Piano & Organ //  Jan Jelenik

RODEN  //  The Growth Eternal

NIGHT FIRE  //  James Tillman

TALK SHOW HOST  //  Nailah Hunter

BOA  //  Sam Gendel & Sam Wilkes

SLEEP WITH YOUR WINDOWS OPEN // Brett Naucke

FAST MOVING CARS  //  Carla dal Forno

About lookOUT Fest

lookOUT - KUTX & AC

This indoor-outdoor, one-day festival is your one-stop-shop for end-of-summer music. With 6 bands and a summer day filled with visual artists, food trucks, vendor market, curated experiences, and tunes from Soundfounder to cap it all off, there are infinite ways to get lost.

Be there as we gather audiophiles from across the city to experience the vibes, the sounds, and the feels of summer before they’re gone. Your ears will thank you.

EXPLORE THE LINEUP 👉 grab your tickets to see Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Album Leaf, Julianna Barwick, and more on September 3rd!

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

For those of you who missed our first Artist Mixtape with Felt Out, all you need to know is that this is exactly what it sounds like — a shiny, little cassette wrapped up in a bow, curated for you by someone else. And for those of you who haven’t stopped listening to Felt Out’s Artist Mixtape… here’s another!

This time, Austin’s own percussion four-piece The Kraken Quartet has curated a 12-song adventure for us with plenty of twists, turns, and surprises — just like a Kraken performance (which you can experience live at lookOUT Fest on September 3rd). 

So pop this cassette in and let’s go.

About This Mixtape: a message from The Kraken Quartet

The four members of The Kraken Quartet are heavily influenced by a wide variety of genres, artists, and instrumentations. This playlist contains songs that inspired us during our formative years, and songs that continue to inspire us today.

Just want to listen? Find the full playlist here.

Tracklist

LAST LIGHT  //  Son Lux

Son Lux are masters of transforming familiar sounds into something otherworldly. Every layer of this track has something compelling about it, something that makes you want to listen deeper. Their music has been a huge inspiration as we continue to explore new sounds to write with, and this track perfectly encapsulates why.

STRANGERS ALL ALONG  //  Sō Percussion

As college students, we took a trip from Ithaca, NY to Brooklyn, NY to see Sō Percussion perform “Where We Live” in December 2012. All of us consider that show a monumental point in our lives as young percussionists. It inspired us to reconsider what our newly formed percussion group could be and sound like.

TURKEY DOG COMA  //  Flying Lotus

As we write music for our group, no style of music is off the table… there has always been a steadfast acceptance of polystylism. As we prepared to write our first full length album, “Separate | Migrate,” we were enamored by this Flying Lotus record that seemingly abandoned any notions of “genre specificity.” This track in particular really takes you on a ride all over the place. 

UNTITLED #1 – VAKA  //  Sigur Rós

RED ROOM  //  Hiatus Kaiyote

BLUES SUBTITLED NO SENSE OF WONDER  //  Gastr Del Sol

8 (CIRCLE)  //  Bon Iver

LOS PLÁTANOS  //  Rumberos de Cuba

THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF THE DAY  //  Explosions In The Sky

SOME  //  Nils Frahm

About lookOUT Fest

lookOUT - KUTX & AC

This indoor-outdoor, one-day festival is your one-stop-shop for end-of-summer music. With 6 bands and a summer day filled with visual artists, food trucks, vendors, curated experiences, and tunes from Soundfounder to cap it all off, there are infinite ways to get lost.

Be there as we gather audiophiles from across the city to experience the vibes, the sounds, and the feels of summer before they’re gone. Your ears will thank you.

EXPLORE THE LINEUP 👉 grab your tickets to see Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Album Leaf, Julianna Barwick, and more on September 3rd!

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

An Artist Mixtape… what’s that?? Exactly what it sounds like — a shiny, little cassette wrapped up in a bow, curated for you by someone else. Except this time, it just so happens it was crafted and mixed by Felt Out. This local Austin duo composed of Sowmya Somanath and Walter Nichols is a magnetic partnership that demands to be explored, and you can catch them live at lookOUT Fest on September 3rd.

So sit back, strap in, and pop this cassette into your tape player (that you totally have right next to you and isn’t in your friend’s 1999 Toyota Tacoma that sometimes works).

A piece of spiral notepaper with a handwritten list of songs and a gold heart

About This Mixtape: a message from Felt Out

We take inspiration from lots of places, from classical to indie rock, pop, experimental, to the way the gate at our house squeaks. Felt Out is about taking these messy, cloudy bits of inspiration and repackaging them within a pop-adjacent context. Here’s some music that adds to that inspiration cloud.

Just want to listen? Find the full playlist here.

Tracklist

PATIENCE  //  Porches

Porches is a constant source of inspiration for us. His music has evolved hugely over the years, but every one of his songs has the same recognizable heart at its center. The way Patience moves freely between worlds of electric piano, synth, and acoustic guitar, all while being undeniably singable completely haunts us. 

GLUE  //  Dan English

PALE  //  Helena Deland

AL OESTE  //  Juana Molina

7-21-17_substitute_hifi_v3  //  Toro y Moi

MAZURKA IN A MINOR, Op. 17, No. 4  //  Frédéric Chopin (performed by Khatia Buniatishvili)

c2.0  //  Charli XCX

Our favorite moment on this playlist is the transition from the Chopin Mazurka to this song. The things we love about the Mazurka — its inventiveness, its design, its beauty — are the exact same things we love about c2.0 (and literally all of Charli’s songs). Two perfect little pieces of music separated by 200 years, adhering to completely different aesthetic conventions, but making us feel exactly the same way is pretty cool.

ROCK, THE  //  Lucy

CROSS THE SEA  //  Alex G

ORLOK  //  Anna Meredith

PIYA BINA SUNO CHEJI MHARO DES  // Kishori Amonkar

Hindustani (North Indian classical) music is an eternal spark to our imagination. It is built on a sophisticated melodic system of ragas, focusing on sonic color and mood to build an immersive environment, relying mostly on improvisation. Piya Suno Bina Cheji Mharo Des is a semi-classical piece about a wandering devotee of Krishna, stuck in the material world and waiting to unite with him. Listening to Vidushi Kishori Amonkar improvise melody is like witnessing a conversation into some divine realm, a reminder that the mystery is real.

CHICHESTER PSALMS  //  Leonard Bernstein

About lookOUT Fest

lookOUT - KUTX & AC

This indoor-outdoor, one-day festival is your one-stop-shop for end-of-summer music. With 6 bands and a summer day filled with visual artists, food trucks, vendors, curated experiences, and tunes from Soundfounder to cap it all off, there are infinite ways to get lost.

Be there as we gather audiophiles from across the city to experience the vibes, the sounds, and the feels of summer before they’re gone. Your ears will thank you.

EXPLORE THE LINEUP 👉 grab your tickets to see Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Album Leaf, Julianna Barwick, and more on September 3rd!

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

When musical boredom is on the horizon, there’s only one place we turn to… Soundfounder’s weekly show on KUTX (8pm on Wednesdays, by the way). The man behind the Soundfounder mic, Andrew Brown, is synonymous with electronic music in this town and beyond, so bringing him on board with lookOUT Fest was a no brainer for the Long Center. In this Mid-Week Intermission, see how he got his start and why he’s decided lookOUT Fest is worth a listen.

Andrew Brown spinning tunes onstage with fog and orange light
Hello!
My name is Andrew Brown but many people around town know me as Soundfounder.

I’m a DJ, producer, radio host, event curator, and record store manager here in Austin. My music journey started around 1999. I was in high school in San Antonio and I got a job so I could save up for my first pair of turntables, a sampler, and start my record collection. I was determined to start making beats and electronic music like some of my heroes. After making tons of music and bouncing around the SA music scene for a few years, I moved to Austin at the age of 20 to expand on what I was doing.

young Soundfounder spinning tunes and smiling, captured in a polaroid

When I got to Austin, I was excited to be a part of the vibrant music community, but at the same time I felt like I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for in electronic music. All of the events I attended were focused on partying, dancing, and DJs (which is great), but there were very few events focused on creativity and the people who were actually producing their own electronic music. There was a massive void waiting to be filled in our music community. 

Around 2009 I met my friend Ben Webster, who goes by the artist name Butcher Bear, and it turns out that we were both thinking the same thing. Later that year we created an event called Exploded Drawing that would focus on creativity in electronic music, above all else. It was immediately successful in DIY spaces around East Austin, with hundreds of people attending our events in the first year. 12 years later, Exploded Drawing has won awards, been featured in publications like The Austin Chronicle and Texas Monthly, and most importantly, been consistently supported by our community.

Soundfounder holding a record on stage, washed in haze and purple light

My obsession with creative electronic music has led to countless collaborations in the community, including a record store called Exploded Records at JuiceLand, my weekly radio show on KUTX, and now lookOUT Fest. When the Long Center reached out to me about helping host and promote an electronic music festival, I was very excited. The Lady Bird Lake Trail and Auditorium Shores nearby are very special places to me, and the idea of bringing a world class, forward-thinking lineup of ambient electronic music to this set of public spaces to share with my community sounds like a dream come true.

I think this is a groundbreaking concept for public music in Austin and hopefully the first of many to come.
lookOUT - KUTX & AC

This indoor-outdoor, one-day festival is your one-stop-shop for end-of-summer music. With 6 bands and a summer day filled with visual artists, food trucks, vendors, curated experiences, and tunes from Soundfounder to cap it all off, there are infinite ways to get lost.

Be there as we gather audiophiles from across the city to experience the vibes, the sounds, and the feels of summer before they’re gone. Your ears will thank you.

EXPLORE THE LINEUP 👉 grab your tickets to see Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, The Album Leaf, Julianna Barwick, and more on September 3rd!

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

We’ve packed our 15th Anniversary calendar from head to toe! Starting Wednesday, June 21st, get 15% off when you buy tickets to 2+ shows.

Members Get More:

Join today and you’ll get 20% off on tickets to 2+ shows! Plus all the other year-long benefits of Long Center Membership including presale access to get the best seats in the house.

+ A Long Center 15th Anniversary tote for the first 50 new Members to join!