Lief Liebmann believes you can’t take second chances for granted. The New York-based musician should know: Liebmann’s band A Love Like Pi, which formed in 2006, has seen more than its share of bad luck over the past few years. First, on the eve of releasing their debut album The Atlas And The Oyster in 2009, the president of A Love Like Pi’s record label passed away in a plane crash. Then, just as the band joined the roster of Roadrunner Records, the label merged with Atlantic and A Love Like Pi recorded an album that was shelved. Band members left, reducing the band to Liebmann himself. Tough breaks to be sure, but nothing could stop the music. A Love Like Pi found a new label in Krian Music Group, recorded a new EP. and now begins again.
“All of it freed me up a little bit more musically,” Lief says. “I was able to embrace the idea of being a multi-instrumentalist because I’m no longer tied to the traditional band dynamic. I can do what the song calls for in the moment. These new songs were written over the course of those two years in purgatory. There’s a certain amount of frustration infused in what I wrote. The conversation every artist has with himself is ‘Who am I writing these songs for?’ This EP was written for me.”
The five-song EP, entitled Jack and the Giant was recorded throughout 2013 with producer Kenny Gioia (Head Automatica, American Authors, Hall and Oates) in South Carolina over several sessions. Lief focused on bringing his violin parts into the music, infusing each song with augmented orchestral lines that add to the soaring, electro-pop aesthetic. “The Atlas,” the EP’s opening song, is a propulsive anthem, synth beats joining with an evocatively cathartic chorus, while “Jack and the Giant,” an introspective ambient number, reveals A Love Like Pi’s quieter side, its melody shimmering with emotive heft. For Lief, the songs connect through both the music and the lyrics, which represent an important means of expression for the musician.
“I'm making an effort to approach every new release as a section of a larger narrative,” Lief says “Each song is starting to feel like a different piece I am affixing to some giant sculpture I’ll be creating until the end.”
A Love Like Pi, who have performed at SXSW, Bamboozle and Warped Tour, and toured extensively in the U.S., play live with a full band, including the group’s longtime drummer Christopher LoPorto. This second chance is full of possibilities.. It’s an opportunity to explore the bounds of music for Lief – and to continue creating songs that are written for himself.