If you’ve been dipping into any side of Toronto’s psychedelic-pop potpourri over the last few years, Patrick Leffler has likely been found its the midst. Having worked on or been a part of records by RSTB favorites Possum, Bart, The Royal Family, and Hieronymus Harry, Leffler’s stamp doesn’t come lightly. When left to his own devices, he’s been carving out his own psych-pop niche as ROY. The band’s caught an arc that traces the tracks of ‘60s tears, from psychedelic saturation, wobbling down the 13th Floor, to something a bit more buttoned down as he eases into Spoons For The World.

Where early albums were doused in government conspiracy concept pieces and JK & Co. clouds of pastel smoke, this time the sound has been grounded and gussied, lacquered to a mahogany sheen that’s more for the soft-hearted crooners than for the psych-splashed garage enthusiasts. Dump the tabs and pull up a brandy for this one because ROY’s gone deep into the woodwork for a stunningly honest take on Lee Hazelwood, Fred Neil, Tims — Buckley and Hardin, and Jackson C. Frank. Like many of his influences there comes a time, or perhaps an age, when tweed-elbowed ballads and deep sighs feel in order. As excellently as he captured the garage pop grist, Leffler seems to deeply understand the ‘70s singer-songwriter swerve as well.

The record is immaculately produced, draping its laments in strings, bittersweet piano, and jazz-laced flute. It’s an abrupt shift from his previous works, but one that still feels completely natural. Like Nesmith shedding teen-pop for the country air, Leffler wears the wounded troubadour guise like it was the endgame all along — the pop merely pre-amble, backstory for his turn towards this masterpiece of velvet ennui. He drapes songs like “Dreamer Knows” in a John Martyn shuffle and soaring background vocals. “Little More Time” lets the flutes curl like cedar woodsmoke, while the title track feels like its been kicking around the turntable for the better part of 40 years, just waiting to be rediscovered, reissued, and sewn into the soul. Spoons For The World has the potential to either end up Leffler’s lost classic, or the opening into a new era. Here’s hoping there’s far more where this came from.

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