Jimmy LaValle, previously with mood-rockers Tristeza, as well as the Black Heart Procession, started a solo instrumental project called the Album Leaf in 1999. Invited by Icelandic groups Sigur Rós and Múm to come record at their studio, LaVelle accepted and there began composing and recording In A Safe Place.
Musicians from both Sigur Rós and Múm, including violinists, cellists, pianists, and percussionists collaborated with LaValle, adding depth and beauty to his minimalist soundscapes. Also new to the recording of In A Safe Place is the addition of vocals from LaValle, Pall Jenkins of the Black Heart Procession, and Jon Thor Birgisson of Sigur Rós.
Starting out slow and moodily, it picks up pace after the first couple of songs, driven by the added vocals and electronic beats on subsequent tracks.
Floating between pop, sparse electronica, and progressive instrumentals, the songs on In A Safe Place have an organic feel to them, which is also apparent by song titles such as “Over the Pond”, “Eastern Glow”, and “Moss Mountain Town”. This collaborative effort by the Album Leaf shows LaValle’s continuing evolution.