Leaves of Green
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Leaves of Green

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Leaves of Green: Imago"

The first creative creation from James Madole is Leaves of Green. Madole, a student at the prestigious NYU, has composed and produced the whole album by himself. He started getting his music out there by creating a blog just like this one on blogger and covered songs with the ukulele along with his vocals. He covered artists such as Elliot Smith and The Antlers and made them sound as his own. What stands out is his voice. Soft, delicate, and beautiful. This along with his serious ukulele skills give these songs a great sound and even made Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi", sound beautiful. After just a couple covers, this talent couldn't go to waste and Madole gives us his first original album.

With Leaves of Green, Madole adds into the picture the acoustic guitar, some electric guitar, and keyboards to make a more dynamic sound that makes up Imago. All of the instruments are played and put together by himself. This indie-folk album it not one to pass up as each listen grasps you in more and more. Once again the singing is, well to say it lightly, very good. The producing qualities that Madole has with the editing of his voice to get it to sound just as he wanted it, comes off to the listener in each song. The instruments are at the forefront of the singing, which you would seem would hide the great voice that James has, but it doesn't. This gives the music a great effect and makes the listener listen intently to the music and to the lyrics. Not only his voice, but the instrumental skills Madole creates in this album shows just how much talent he has. Most of the songs have the ukulele and acoustic guitar playing together which creates a sound that is perfect for his voice. Most of the time, like his voice, it is soft and delicate with an occasional outburst of sound. The dynamics of it make Imago special.

Imago as a whole is truly a great listen and worth your time and full attention. Some songs that stand out to me are "Slow Down", "Eternal", and "Manhattan Ave". "Slow Down" is a great example of the careful perfection that goes into the singing and the editing of it. The background singing in the chorus makes the singing of "if you are moving too slow" even more special. Not just because of the dynamics and sound of it but it is the exact sound that one would think of for the word "slow". It is a humbling song that is a good listen at the end of the day."Eternal" is more of a buildup song. As the song goes on the listener can feel the energy increasing until they are satisfied with a rare, heavy electric guitar rift. "Manhattan Ave." is more of an instrumental song that show just how good Madole is with the string instruments. There is more going on in this song compared to most of the other songs on the album including guitar solos and ambient effects added to the acoustic sounds. This sound along with the singing give this song a really cool upbeat vibe. All of the songs are a good listen, not just these three. The album flows together well, especially for a first ever album.

You can tell that Madole is influenced by other indie-folk artists, such as the late Elliot Smith and Grizzly Bear, and he takes those influences and makes his own sound that is distinct from them. What is very impressive is that James is not just a musician he is also a student just like a lot of the viewers of this blog. Not only does that create time concerns as he is busy being a student, but he did it without the help of others or fancy recording devices and great software of his own as he may have done it all from his own computer. You can tell that he is probably a very smart guy, aside from the fact that he goes to NYU. To the album I say "Bravo" and I hope that he finds success from this and continues to make music in the forks of life. - The Music Sprawl

"Leaves of Green - East 4th"

What’s fascinating about Leaves of Green is that, while everything about their sound signifies age–a world weariness that yields wisdom–they are one of the youngest bands ever featured on Lower Frequencies. On “East 4th,” James Madole is clearly borrowing some vocal tropes from Peter Silberman, and even throwing in some Justin Vernon-esque croaks here and there, but it doesn’t feel like cheap imitation. Rather, Madole is able to make his vocal delivery completely his own by not shying away from the stylings of his heroes, actually embracing the groundwork they’ve laid and playing with the tricks he’s learned from them. - Lower Frequencies

"Leaves of Green 01-07-12"

A little over a week ago, I was sitting in my house & debating what to do. I found out that my sister was heading to NYC so I figured I'd catch a ride & go meet up with Carolyn to catch a random indie show. While sitting down at her laptop & pouring over concert listings, I mentioned that a band called Leaves Of Green was performing at Piano's. She mentioned that she had heard of them so that is where we decided to go pitch our tent.

This was my first time coming across the band so I had no idea what to expect outside of a few songs I sampled online. It did not sound bad so I figured it would be at worst a decent show. I ended up highly enjoying their 8 song set in a packed upstairs lounge.

Leaves Of Green is the project of 20 year old singer-songwriter James Madole although this show featured a second person on guitar. When I first saw them setup, I figured with it being James on acoustic & his running mate on electric, it would be a duet type performance. Instead, it was a set filled with a lot of sonic goth sounds & vibes that fit beautifully around James' lyrics. Quite honestly it had a bit of a Smashing Pumpkins vibe to it at times in terms of the guitar sounds echoing albeit with much less tools at their disposal.

Of the 8 songs played, the first 7 are available on the debut album Imago which is available on their Bandcamp page by clicking here. While I enjoyed many of the songs, my favorite ended up being the finale East 4th which is not on their debut album but will be recorded soon. If you are in the NYC area, I'd highly suggest checking out Leaves Of Green especially if you are into music with a touch of a gothic sonic vibe without the phoniness that many acts bring to the table. - SurgeFM

"Leaves of Green 01-25-12"

A day after hanging out in the Lower East Side to see Anya Skidan perform, I was back to see a show. This time I was heading to Cake Shop to check out the duo Leaves Of Green. I was looking forward to their set after seeing them for the first time only a few weeks earlier at Piano's.

I was once again highly impressed by the performance of 20 year old singer-songwriter James Madole & his partner in crime Justin Krim on guitar. They masterfully went through an 8 song set filled with strong vocals, nice acoustic tones & solid sonic sounds from Justin. Some of the highlights included Broken Blue, Lincoln Center, Recovery & my personal favorite East 4th.

These guys are definitely a treat to see & I look forward to their upcoming show at Piano's on February 20th. So if you are in or around NYC that night, come on down for a great set! - SurgeFM

"Leaves of Green"

When an artist embarks on a solo project at a young age, the pursuit is commendable. Such ambition is shown on the full-length album by Leaves of Green, Imago. The album was created by one James Madole, a 20-year-old student at New York University. On his debut, Madole uses an infusion of vocals, guitar, ukulele, and keyboards to create mellow pop that resonates fluidly throughout the album. Imago is sometimes eerie, but always melodic. It begins with the lush “Convictions Pt. 1”, which boasts an ethereal yet haunting sound. Madole pairs his background harmonies with prominent lead vocals to develop several beautiful layers of sound. The vocals are smooth and, coupled with guitar harmonies and a simple ukulele, achieve an atmospheric sound.

“Convictions Pt. 1” and its glimpses of Elliott Smith transition seamlessly into “Attic”, an effort that remains infectiously upbeat while retaining the earnestness of Madole’s efforts through its lyrics. Although many of the melodies are sweeping and lush, you should not expect sweet, gentle lyrics. Imago is reflective and emotionally heavy in its entirety. The lyrical matter is dense, but easily digestible because of the focus on content over quantity. The easy-flowing guitar melody aids in keeping the tone buoyant and chirpy, apt surroundings for Madole’s delicately youthful voice.

“Manhattan Ave.” opens solely with overlapping vocal harmonies, very similar to Grizzly Bear’s ghostly style of folk. The licks of the guitar shoot in with spontaneity, balancing out the sound and producing a haunting nigh-time melody, which touts a lively and abstract presentation that should appeal to all fans of complexly layered guitar-based pop. While the sound of Leaves of Green is far from the likes of Animal Collective, Madole uses similar production technique to successfully create a mood both ethereal and memorably haunting. The reverb of his vocals is emphasized as to create a numbingly hypnotic feel.

Imago is an impressive debut with pleasant cohesiveness, despite the wide array of experimentation Madole accomplishes. He presents more than just a genial sound; lyrical content and some unconventional production techniques make it an intriguing venture, with melodic subtleties that will entertain listeners on multiple listens.
- Obscure Sound


Imago, LP, September 2011
East 4th, Single, February 2012



Leaves of Green began as the bedroom project of James Madole. Equipped with one microphone, GarageBand, a ukulele, and a guitar, Madole created his atmospheric and ethereal debut album, Imago. The album, which was released in September of 2011, can best be described as lo-fi or indie-folk. The music has been compared to the likes of Elliott Smith, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear and the Antlers.

After the release of the album, Madole began playing around New York City with multi-instrumentalist Justin Krim, who helps to translate the texture and intricacy of the album to a live setting. After getting a few shows under their belt at venues such as Pianos and Cake Shop, Leaves of Green returned to the recording process, this time as a duo. The band recently released their new single, East 4th. The two-song single captures and expands on the intimacy found on Imago; Madole exhibits haunting and emotional vocals while Krim’s guitar work provides layers of texture and atmosphere to the songs.

Leaves of Green is prepped to promote East 4th around the NYC area in the spring of 2012, with hopes of expanding to a more regional or national level in the summer.