IAN Felice, from The Felice Brothers, presented his debut solo record In The Kingdom Of Dreams at Leeds Brudenell Social Club last Thursday.

Breaking from his Catskill Mountains family band to release music under his own name for the first time, Felice contemplates chapters of his life, but not in a specifically literal or logical sequence.

"The result is a pretty reflective record that hopefully blows some cobwebs from the window of my psyche," he says. Written in 2016, recorded in only four days in February 2017, the album was released in August on Loose Music, the Ladbroke Grove label with exquisite taste in Americana.

Ian, The Felice Brothers' lead singer and principal songwriter, recorded In The Kingdom Of Dreams in his childhood home of home of Palenville, New York State, with his brother Simone on production duties, having produced and co-written hit albums by The Lumineers and the Mercury Prize-nominated Bat For Lashes.

The recording was a family affair, Ian being joined by the original Felice Brothers line-up of James Felice on keys, Simone Felice on drums and Josh Rawson on bass.

Ian has led The Felice Brothers for more than a decade. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains, he moved to New York at 18 to study art and soon after began writing songs and performing with brothers Simone and James. The Felice Brothers was conceived in 2006 after the recording of Iantown, a ten-song set of Ian’s first songs made in one night in January 2006.

In the months that followed, The Felice Brothers began playing bars, restaurants and busking street corners and subways, joined by their friends Josh Rawson on bass and Greg Farley on the fiddle. Simone has branched out into his own bands and solo work and production duties, but The Felice Brothers continue to play and record after 12 years, with nine albums to their name.

Now Ian has made his own record. "When I began writing the songs that would become In The Kingdom Of My Dreams, many were based on memories of my past but not necessarily all literal or in a logical sequence," he says.

"I became interested in the pull between reality and unreality and also in how time affects memory. By the end of 2016 I was run down from touring America, riding out the storm of political mania and juggling a few personal dilemmas, including the revelation that I would soon be a father.

"The Kingdom Of Dreams became a place where I could escape from the numbing flood of data that permeates modern life and try to unravel pieces of my past, rearrange memories with dreams or lines from my imagination and construct something that functioned outside the limits of reality."

Many of Ian's songs deal with childhood memories of Palenville and its people. "Like the song In Memoriam, which is partly about the death of my stepfather when I was eight," he says. "Water Street confronts my fears of becoming a father; 21st Century deals with mental illness and politics on a more universal level. It only seemed right that I should make the album there, along the green banks of the Katterskill Creek and with my brother Simone as producer.

"The result is a pretty reflective record that hopefully blows some cobwebs from the window of my psyche. Many of the things that I was writing at the time didn’t work as songs and so I published a companion book of poetry, Hotel Swampland."