The third full-length recording from the much loved Anglo-Australian four-piece is made up of smart, beautiful pop music, with lyrics that resonate with experience and melodies that chime, echo and soar. The album combines the eagerness, urgency and immediacy of their 2010 debut with the contemplation, sophistication and ambition of their 2012 follow-up Europe, and yet it goes beyond either both sonically and in song. It was written at a time of considerable change for songwriter Elizabeth Morris, a time during which she fell in love, moved to Italy and got married – not that that seems to have hindered the songwriting process. They then returned to their spiritual home of Soup Studios. The intention was to capture a more instinctive and fluid live studio sound and to play as well as possible while the red button was on, a different approach to the more piecemeal recording of their previous two albums.
Or as Paul Rains put it, “We’ve used three years of touring to try and get some of that sweat and grime and togetherness and sweetness and anxiety onto a record.” One of the themes of the new record is new beginnings and things drawing to a close. ”Nothing feels the way it did before and I am grateful for that”, sings Elizabeth on “Crickets in the Rain”, a song written after her move to Italy and which she describes as “anti-nostalgia”. Built along the same lines is the gorgeous “History Lessons”, of which Elizabeth says, “I guess at some point I became a bit tired of everything seeming better in the past, from music to relationships to buildings to societies. We´re a bit obsessed with it and it can become overwhelming. We don´t live in the present. This song is trying to express that frustration.” Among the highlights of the album is “Bright Eyes”, a duet with guitarist Paul Rains. Elizabeth again, “I wanted to write another duet, but the only problem with doing that is that when you play live it´s very rare that the person you recorded it with can be there. So I thought it would be great to write a song with Paul singing the other part. Another standout is the Twin Peaks-referencing “Half-Heart Necklace”, based on a true story from Elizabeth’s hometown. “There had been some murders, and this girl who was my age was missing and presumed killed. It turned out she had been hiding for years in her boyfriend´s cupboard, and she was charged for wasting police time”.
Other notable tracks include the rollicking “Kings and Queens”, inspired by a show they played in the USA with their friends and kindred spirits The Wave Pictures, and “Romance and Adventure”, originally earmarked for a film soundtrack and written in response to a challenge from Paul to write a pop song in a minor key. Allo Darlin’ were formed by Elizabeth Morris, fellow Australian Bill Botting (bass), Paul Rains (guitar), and Michael Collins (drums). Their debut album was named No. 2 record of the year by eMusic. Their second album ‘Europe’ scored 8.1 on Pitchfork, was made USA Today’s Album Of The Week, and garnered praise from Uncut, Q, NME, The Quietus and The Guardian. The band have been playlisted at BBC 6Music and have recorded many sessions for 6 Music & XFM, as well being Steve Lamacq’s personal pick for BBC Introducing. Allo Darlin’ have produced a wonderful record – thoughtful and exciting and exquisitely played – that will please their existing army of fans and newcomers alike.
Vinyl is limited heavyweight blue or white vinyl.
Tracklist: Heartbeat / Kings And Queens / We Come From The Same Place / Crickets In The Rain / Half Heart Necklace / Another Year / Romance And Adventure / History Lessons / Santa Maria Novella / Angela / Bright Eyes
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