Posts Tagged ‘Allo Darlin’

When one door shuts, another one opens, as the old saying goes. In the case of the break-up of the band Allo Darlin’, one door closed and four solo careers began. Paul Rains is something of a omnipresent guitar wizard on the London-scene, Mikey Collins and Bill Botting have both shared solo offerings, and now, probably the most aniticipated next move of them all comes in the shape of Elva. A collaboration between Elizabeth Morris and Ola Innset, of the Norwegian band Making Marks, Elva are set to release their debut album in April, and have this week shared the first taste of it.

It’s hard not to compare the sound back to the pairs other projects, Elizabeth’s plaintive vocals remain as wonderfully comforting as ever, while Ola’s guitar work has us digging out that excellent Making Marks record from a few years back. For everything that stays the same though, something new comes along; there’s lush strings, country-licked drum arrangements, even what sounds suspiciously like an accordion. The record’s title, “Winter Sun”, feels hugely apt for Elva’s sound, Americana via Australia and Norway, there’s a warmth and a comfort to their sound, yet you feel there’s something darker lurking beneath. We can’t wait to see where Elva take us next.

Taken from upcoming album “Winter Sun”, out on Tapete Records on April 19th!

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Hoick is the solo album from Allo Darlin’ drummer Mikey Collins, who combines his love of solid grooves and joyous harmonies to create a fun and sonically varied record. Mikey played most of the instruments and mixed the record himself, with some assistance from Laura Kovic (Tigercats) on vocals and fellow Allo Darlin’ member Paul Rains on lead guitar. The flicker of his previous band provided the building blocks of an upbeat, positive record, but Mikey wanted to add his own quirky, disco spin & sonic expansiveness, aided by co-producer John Winfield (who has worked with Jimmy Somerville), with the aim of making a record that people stood a chance of being able to dance to. To create this eclectic sound, Mikey draws on influences as far flung as Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Bruce Springsteen & Todd Rundgren as well as more current artists such as Night Works, Matthew E White and Father John Misty.

Mikey began working on the album while he was still touring with beloved Fortuna POP! signed indiepop outfit Allo Darlin’ and as a result it took a pretty long time to complete. The last few years were a conveyor belt of change as he; got married, had a child, bought a house, moved from London to be by the Kent coast (Ramsgate) and opened a residential studio Big Jelly Studios (where they’ve recorded albums by Girl Ray, Metronomy, Pete Doherty and the Puta Madres, Mt Wolf, Seamus Fogarty and many others including Elizabeth Morris from Allo Darlin’s new band, ELVA).

In short, he grew up. The record journeys through these changes but has its roots firmly grounded in his new seaside habitat. His identity with and connection to the area is even incorporated into the album artwork – a startling photograph by local photographer Jason Evans (who has worked with Radiohead and Keiran Hebden/Fourtet), incorporating flora and fauna of the region, an outer ring of pop glow that hints at the neon din of the seaside. The idea for the image emerged after a discussion about the relationship between organic and synthesised sounds on the record and its need to represent the area.

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Moving to the coast had a more profound effect on Mikey than he imagined, as he explains; “Mostly it’s about a seismic shift in life. I probably delayed growing up in a lot of ways, touring can kind of help that – it’s a fantasy world in some ways! I hadn’t really stopped to appreciate what I had until I got a little bit of time and space to think. Being by the sea is good for that. I realised how many positives there are in my life and I wanted to channel some of that into a record.” Unsurprisingly there are a lot of references to the sea, falling in love and friendship on the album. This is evident in songs such as as “Falling”, which is about proposing to his wife – something he swore blind he’d never do! – to “Pinata”, a song about handing over your heart, wrapping it in a piñata and giving someone the bat (in a humorous way). “Side by Side” is a reflection on having spent a lot of time with a group of people and that, hopefully, the Allo Darlin‘ friendship would always endure.

“West Coast” is another uptempo disco-vibe, reflecting on time spent with long term tour buddies The Wave Pictures in California. In “Home Bird”, Mikey tried to pay homage to to the grooves of older RnB tunes with a simple arrangement, Rolling Stones-esque riffs and thoughts about the dichotomy of missing home, but loving being on the road. The finger-picked, delicately arranged acoustic song, “Moving On”, was recorded in one take in the upstairs flat of a cafe/bar (called Caboose) that Mike opened with his wife when they first moved to Ramsgate. An airplane flew overhead at a seemingly poignant moment, so Mike decided to keep that take, as explains; “it seemed like a perfect moment captured!”.

 

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The solo album from Allo Darlin’ drummer Mikey Collins, who combines his love of solid grooves and joyous harmonies to create a fun and sonically varied record. Mikey played most of the instruments and mixed the record himself, with some assistance from Laura Kovic (Tigercats) on vocals and fellow Allo Darlin’ member Paul Rains on lead guitar. The flicker of his previous band provided the building blocks of an upbeat, positive record, but Mikey wanted to add his own quirky, disco spin & sonic expansiveness, aided by co-producer John Winfield (who has worked with Jimmy Somerville), with the aim of making a record that people stood a chance of being able to dance to. To create this eclectic sound, Mikey draws on influences as far flung as Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Bruce Springsteen & Todd Rundgren as well as more current artists such as Night Works, Matthew E White and Father John Misty.

Mikey began working on the album while he was still touring with beloved Fortuna POP! signed indiepop outfit Allo Darlin’ and as a result it took a pretty long time to complete. The last few years were a conveyor belt of change as he; got married, had a child, bought a house, moved from London to be by the Kent coast (Ramsgate) and opened a residential studio Big Jelly Studios (where they’ve recorded albums by Girl Ray, Metronomy, Pete Doherty and the Puta Madres, Mt Wolf, Seamus Fogarty and many others including Elizabeth Morris from Allo Darlin’s new band, ELVA). The record journeys through these changes but has its roots firmly grounded in his new seaside habitat. His identity with and connection to the area is even incorporated into the album artwork – a startling photograph by local photographer Jason Evans (who has worked with Radiohead and Keiran Hebden/Fourtet), incorporating flora and fauna of the region, an outer ring of pop glow that hints at the neon din of the seaside. The idea for the image emerged after a discussion about the relationship between organic and synthesised sounds on the record and its need to represent the area.

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Mikey explains the album; “Mostly it’s about a seismic shift in life. I probably delayed growing up in a lot of ways, touring can kind of help that – it’s a fantasy world in some ways! I hadn’t really stopped to appreciate what I had until I got a little bit of time and space to think. Being by the sea is good for that. I realised how many positives there are in my life and I wanted to channel some of that into a record.” Unsurprisingly there are a lot of references to the sea, falling in love and friendship on the album. This is evident in songs such as as “Falling”, which is about proposing to his wife – something he swore blind he’d never do! – to “Pinata”, a song about handing over your heart, wrapping it in a piñata and giving someone the bat (in a humorous way). “Side by Side” is a reflection on having spent a lot of time with a group of people and that, hopefully, the Allo Darlin’ friendship would always endure.

“West Coast” is another uptempo disco-vibe, reflecting on time spent with long term tour buddies The Wave Pictures in California. In “Home Bird”, Mikey tried to pay homage to to the grooves of older RnB tunes with a simple arrangement, Rolling Stones-esque riffs and thoughts about the dichotomy of missing home, but loving being on the road. The finger-picked, delicately arranged acoustic song, “Moving On”, was recorded in one take in the upstairs flat of a cafe/bar (called Caboose) that Mike opened with his wife when they first moved to Ramsgate. An airplane flew overhead at a seemingly poignant moment, so Mike decided to keep that take, as explains; “it seemed like a perfect moment captured!”.

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Allo Darlin’ are all set to release a final single to coincide with their sold out farewell shows in December. Comprised of two brand new recordings by the band, “Hymn On The 45” and “Wanderlust”, it’s due out as a limited edition gold vinyl 7” on the 12th December via Fortuna POP! and The Hangover Lounge, and will be available exclusively at the sold-out London gigs on the 10th December at MOTH Club and the 11th December at Scala.

The A-side “Hymn On The 45”, weaves Elizabeth Morris’ heartfelt lyrics about starting afresh in a new city with guitarist Paul Rain’s signature stylings, ending with a heartwarming sing-a-long. The B-side “Wanderlust”, about missing people and places whilst embarking on your own adventures, is classic Allo Darlin’ fare, of blending poignant melancholia with bright and sunny pop melodies.

 

Allo Darlin’ were formed after Australian Elizabeth Morris arrived in London and bought a ukulele from the Duke of Uke shop in Shoreditch. She began writing music and was soon joined by fellow Australian Bill Botting (bass), Paul Rains (guitar), and Michael Collins (drums). The band have toured across the USA and Europe, as well as wowing the crowds at End Of The Road and The Indietracks festival. They’ve also been strongly supported by BBC 6music, recording several sessions including one at the BBC’s prestigious Maida Vale Studios at the invitation of Steve Lamacq.

It’s not often that you have the task of discussing a band who are splitting up releasing a single on a label that’s about to stop functioning, in promotion of some shows that are already sold out, which will be the only place you can buy it. Then we guess Allo Darlin’ have never been a normal band.

Allo Darlin’ have released three albums, gaining cult status and critical acclaim, but six years on from their self-titled debut, the Anglo-Australian quartet’s run will come to an end with their final show, Hymn On The 45 is a track that’s instantaneous hook grabs you, but only unfurls its beautiful details over repeat listens; the gorgeous opening organ than nods to Camera Obscura, the full-blown horn section on the outro, Paul Rains’ shimmering guitar tones, and the doubt fuelled lyrics about not wanting to grow up and learning to accept you might always be a lovable failure.

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Hymn On The 45 will be available exclusively via Fortuna Pop/The Hangover Lounge at Allo Darlin’s sold out London Shows.