Thursday, June 9th, 2011

If Loneliness Was Art

Review of Allo Darlin’s Allo Darlin’

Photo via allodarlin.comallodarlin.comIt’s of no surprise whatsoever to learn that Elizabeth Morris, frontwoman of London’s Allo Darlin’ also pulls duty as part of Tender Trap. Even without a formal connection to the works of Amelia Fletcher, the influence of the former Heavenly frontwoman is all over the band’s self-titled debut.

You can draw a pretty straight line from Heavenly’s archetypal indie pop to what Allo Darlin’ are doing, making adjustments for Morris’ Australian accent and favouring of the ukulele as rhythm instrument. But rather than go retro and try to recapture the youthful innocence of the movement circa the ’80s, Allo Darlin’ picks up in present day with the song’s protagonists perhaps in their late twenties, coloured by the anxiety, disappointment and melancholy that comes with age and experience. It’s also peppered with pop cultural references – when was the last time you heard “Max Von Sydow” as a lyric – that are less about being clever and more about trying to express reel feelings with the only frames of reference available.

I realize this sounds kind of grim and maybe unappealing, but Allo Darlin’ wraps these sentiments up in some of the most buoyant and catchy melodies you’ll hear this side of, well, a Heavenly record. It’s indie pop of the most irresistible variety with a real emotional weight to it that adds just the right amount of heartache to go with the sugar buzz. Recommended on so many levels.

I wouldn’t have thought that the band had enough profile to stage a North American tour but after having to cancel a handful of dates due to visa issues aside, they got underway last night in New York City and will roll through Toronto this Saturday night at the El Mocambo. Tickets just $10 in advance; you should go.

MP3: Allo Darlin’ – “My Heart Is A Drummer”
MP3: Allo Darlin’ – “Dreaming”
Video: Allo Darlin’ – “My Heart Is A Drummer”
Video: Allo Darlin’ – “If Loneliness Was Art”
Video: Allo Darlin’ – “Dreaming”
Video: Allo Darlin’ – “The Polaroid Song”

The Guardian gets Emma-Lee Moss – aka Emmy The Great – to annotate her second album Virtue, which is due for release next week but available to stream in whole right now. The Guardian and I Like Music both have interviews with Moss.

Stream: Emmy The Great / Virtue

The Alternate Side has an interview and session and The Dumbing Of America, The Vine, Shortlist, City Weekly, The Georgia Straight and Soundspike have interviews with Noah & The Whale.

The Globe & Mail, National Post, Georgia Straight, and San Francisco Examiner get to know Anna Calvi.

Florence & The Machine has released a video for their contribution to the Rave On Buddy Holly tribute album, due to be released on June 28. Gigwise reports that her second album will be done by the end of next month.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Not Fade Away”

File this one under “can’t be anything but wonderful” – English folk-rock legend Richard Thompson is coming to town for a solo show at Koerner Hall in the Royal Conservatory Of Music on Thursday, September 8. Ticket information is still forthcoming but having seen him at Toronto’s Bluesfest back in 2003 – way back when we had a Bluesfest – I can attest that whatever they charge will be worth it. The man is unbelievable.

Video: Richard Thompson – “Shoot Out The Lights” (live)
Video: Richard Thompson – “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” (live)

The San Francisco Examiner and Los Angeles Times have interviews with James Allan of Glasvegas.

The Grid chats with Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders.

Baeble Music is streaming video of a complete show by The Go! Team in Brooklyn from earlier this Spring.

Guy Garvey of Elbow ruminates on the British music scene for Shortlist.

NPR is streaming a WFUV session with Ellie Goulding, who will be at The Kool Haus on August 1.

Spin gets a notion of what Anthony Gonzalez has in store for the next M83 album. No release date or title, but apparently it will be an epic-scale double-disc set. So glad that Gonzalez is finally letting loose; all those previous M83 records being so introverted.

By : Frank Yang at 8:29 am
Category: General

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  1. Justin says:

    “My Heart Is A Drummer” owes a lot to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

  2. gage says:

    i saw allo darlin on the first stop at the mercury lounge and it was packed! excited for them. good band, great songs, and you just root for them.