Shadow Of Leaves is the 36th release by avant-folk/blues singer/songwriter Jandek, released by his own Corwood Industries label (#0774). It is his first release of four released in 2004, and the second album to feature his voice accompanied by solo fretless electric bass, though the lyrics are darker and more personal than the last album.
Up to this point, the albums in the first part of Jandek's "modern phase" (those released prior to his first live show in October of 2004) were all something of a piece. The covers were all from foreign locations, and the songs dealt with metaphysical concerns and, to a degree, the artist coming to terms with himself. They were for voice with either a dissonantly tuned acoustic guitar (and occasional harmonica) or, on The Gone Wait, a fretless electric bass. The bass continues here, burbling and smacking along at the lower registers of the instrument. Vocally, the album returns to the howling and moaning found on the first album of the series, I Threw You Away, and many of the lines are yelled.
The album begins similarly to how the Gone Wait ended - we're in a living room, moving around furniture. Then the song winds around some surreal pathways; at one point he talks about the "other" becoming a liquid, and then says he's drinking "a mechanically produced beverage" and that he "knows my liquids." After almost half an hour of unrelenting abstraction the artist says he's "waiting for you" and hoping it's heaven. So after all that we're back where we started?
Not quite - the narrator, it seems, keeps waiting. In "Find Me Again" he turns this into a challenge, saying "I took my name away/I’ll still communicate/you’ll hear from here or there/but I got to be dark again/I got too close to the fire" and challenges the "you" to "find me again." That leads to the final track, which reflects utter desolation. Gone from his "sage" role entirely, he now hopes the listener will "take the bait" and says "you'll never get away/you won't want to/you're mine."