Top 50 Albums of 2014

TOP 50 ALB 14These lists are everywhere, so you’ll be excused if you just roll your eyes and skip on. But, that being said, we always seem to be way off the mark when it comes to our Top 50 Albums of the Year.  Sure, we have some of the sure fire hits on this list like Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, but don’t even read on if you’re look ing to see where Run the Jewels made it…they’re not there. Sorry not sorry.  So, if you’re into arbitrary lists by people who like to push their own agenda, then this list is for you! Read more

Sat/Sun Austin Weekend Show Spotlight

austinAs I said yesterday, there’s tons of places you can find yourself this weekend for a good old fashioned music concert.  But, maybe you need a suggestion or two as to where you wanna go? Well, I’m here to point you in the right direction, based on my extremely biased opinion.  Feel free to ignore these options, or play everyone’s favorite game of Where’s Norman Wanklord? Here’s the list. Read more

Allo Darlin’ – We Come From The Same Place

HIRESRating: ★★★★☆

Allo Darlin‘ first hit my radar back in 2012 when they released their sophomore record, Europe, and let the world know they have some serious skills when it comes to sunny indie pop. We Come From the Same Place offers a further trek down this road of well crafted glistening pop tunes as well as a beautiful transitional record for a shift to autumn days.

The band opens with “Heartbeat–” a bouncy and ukelele filled little warming up number, which gets you excited for this album by reminding you just what made you fall in love with Allo Darlin’. The real goodness is yet to come, but don’t worry it’s coming soon. Second up is “Kings And Queens,” in which the band picks up the pace and starts to hit their stride. Following that, you get the simply swoon-worthy title track, whose choral hook, complete with backing guitar riff is enough to make anyone tap their toes and jam along with this group. When Elizabeth Morris belts earnestly, “Please believe me, I’ve never said this before,” as the guitar delicately jams along with that jangle in the background, I was jolted from passive to active listener as that sensation of excitement swept over me. Here is where this album hooked me—from here on out I was pretty much on board with anything this band wanted to throw out.

This track isn’t, of course, the only stand out number on the record, as later on you get numbers like “Bright Eyes” and “Crickets In The Rain.” The first of these two songs turns out to be one of the more rock-laden tracks on the record and begins with a little stripped down electric guitar. What makes this track so special is the duet between male and female vocals that you don’t really find anywhere else on the album. Combined with that squalling electric guitar that takes off on its own at the end of the track, this number is infectious. “Crickets In The Rain” gives that perfect for autumn combination of sunny sounding instrumentation with a melancholy twist—be it in the lyrics or Morris’ vocal quality. It’s the perfect mirror to falling leaves or rainy days mixed with the still stagnantly hot Texas sun.

My small issue with this record is that it seems to be lacking a little power punch to push it through to the end. The songwriting is brilliant, the tracks are all pretty good, but I needed one more spectacular, knock-it-out-of-the-park song towards the end of the record to push me head-over-heels in love. That being said, since the songs are slow-burners at the end of the record, perhaps I’ve just missed the needle in the haystack and that missing piece will become evident with repeated listening. You have a listen and hear for yourself.


Beautiful Indiepop from Allo Darlin (Again)

alloThe more I hear from this new Allo Darlin, the more I swoon.  There’s something magic about a perfectly executed indiepop tune, and this one is more than just magic.  I love the vocal interplay between male and female, fittingly coming across like friendly banter between lovers.  There’s indiepop, then there’s the spectacular, and this track is definitely falling in the latter category.  Their new album, We Come From the Same Place, will surely be in your hands on October 7th when it gets a US release by Slumberland Records. That’ll be followed by a nice long US tour too, including an Austin date at the Mohawk.

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Brighten Your Day with Allo Darlin

alloI think I first fell in love with Allo Darlin when I started listening to their last record, Europe, on repeat.  It was the perfect collection of indie pop songs, and it seems as if the group is back with another set of incredible songs to make your life ten times better.  On their first single from their forthcoming LP, you can already tell there’s an advanced spirit, though the genial quality of the group is still ever-present in the tones and vocal delivery from Elizabeth Morris. They’ve titled the album We’re From the Same Place, which will be released by Slumberland on October 7th.

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Top Albums of 2012: 100-51

It’s really hard to narrow down a list of Top Albums of 2012, especially when you have four contributors with different opinions.  We gave the reins to Nathan.Lankford and Nicole Baumann on this one, since they write the majority of the album reviews, but we all have a little representation within this.  Now, we do realize that our site has specialized tastes, so please realize that these are our OPINIONS.  You’re welcome to disagree, and, in fact, we encourage that process.  Also, we’re doing a Top 100 because so many records came out this year, it wouldn’t be fair to narrow it down.  Not to mention it might lead you to discover some hits you hadn’t heard about yet. Oh, and we don’t really like Frank Ocean or hip-hop…just a personal choice…here’s the first segment.

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Show Preview: Allo Darlin @ the Mohawk (5/1)

Date Tuesday, May 1st
Location Mohawk
Doors 900 pm
Tickets $8 from Frontgate

Those of you who are in any way fans of great indie pop need to be sure you’re in attendance at this excellent show on Tuesday evening.  Allo Darlin and the Wave Pictures are two of the best UK indie pop acts, and they rarely make it all the way over to our side of the pond.  All Darlin just released their latest record, Europe, and the Wave Pictures put out Long Black Cars in the past month as well.  All you need to do is spend five minutes listening to each band and you’ll know that your attendance is necessary.  Opening the night is No Future, the new reincarnation of the band formerly known (and loved) as Leatherbag.


Download:The Wave Pictures – Eskimo Kiss [MP3]

Allo Darlin – Europe

Rating: ★★★★☆

Allo Darlin are a four piece indie/twee pop band that hail from London, and if you haven’t gotten to know their dazzlingly sweet tunes, then it is time you started. Their self-titled first album was released back in 2010, but if you want to get to know the sweet and groovy tunes of this band then look no further, Europe is an excellent place to start.        

On opener “Neil Armstrong,” it’s easy to see the similiarities of Allo Darlin’ to other indie-pop legends. The vocals of Elizabeth Morris share the discreet power that Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell has perfected and the delicate guitars reminisce of that of Belle and Sebastian. Though this band is not simply a culmination of other groups, they have their own flair as well. The ukulele that is ever-present on this first song is an aspect that gives this group the playfulness that such a genre begs for. For a first track, it’s a pretty good representation of this band’s style; gentle pop that still manages to bubble in sunshine.

Later on, you have an even softer, but no less equally delightful tune in “Tallulah,” where Elizabeth Morris and her uke step away from things. The result is a plain and simple tasty song, whose simplicity is what makes it as Morris sings a tale of a summer past. Sure, you’re missing the other jangling elements that Allo Darlin’ have become masters of, but it’s a lovely little break from the bright pop and a side trip to a more grounded sound. It’s a good reminder that this band can do a little more than all sunshine all the time.

However, it’s clear that what this band does best is easily music that bathes you in light. On the very next song after “Talulah,” they jump right back into their warmth with “The Letter.” The guitar feels further up in the mix of things on this song, at times dueling with Morris’ vocals for the lead of the song. Meanwhile the drums roll steady on, with the prominent cymbal crash to complete the overall bright atmosphere. That being said, Allo Darlin’ isn’t that easily pegged with the label of cheery pop songs. No, if you listen to the intricate lyrics that Morris spouts out, you’ll find that not all that she has to say matches the surface level observation of peppy.

Like the bands aforementioned, and essentially any band that is really worth listening to, there is more to be found here than can be acquired on first listen. After some time spent traveling around Europe, you’ll find that it was worth the trip.

New Music from Allo Darlin

I’m a sucker for anything with a ukulele, even Iz.  So, I can’t help but to run this sweet new single from Allo Darlin, a band from Australia, via the UK.  They’ve got a new album coming out titled. well, Allo Darlin, and it hits stores on October 5th.  If we’re going to base the record on this track, its going to be nothing short of strong songwriting, light harmonies and bit of a groove.  You’ll never have a bad time listening to ukulele based pop music, promise.


Download: Allo Darlin – My Heart is a Drummer [MP3]

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