We Come From The Same Place

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The gist Allo Darlin' get introspective on their third LP The music I'm not usually the sort of person that listens to something over and over again, but Allo Darlin's last album Europe was, and still is, one of the exceptions to this rule. The vinyl's condition is officially "well loved" so it's a good job you can't wear out an MP3. Front woman Elizabeth Morris seems to be just as obsessed with music as many of her listeners will be and the just-about-perfect Europe has direct references to The Silver Jews, The Maytels and road trip mix-tapes, weaved into narratives that evoke the exact sort of nostalgic reactions that suck the listener right into her world. Whilst Europe was an unapologetically life-affirming, hopeful record, We Come From The Same Place is surprisingly dark, dealing with uncertainty, broken relationships, isolation, and, most depressingly of all, budget air travel. This feeling is perhaps typified by the slow fade in on album opener "Heartbeat", certainly not the immediate hit we're used to from this band. But they sound more accomplished in the two years they've been away, particularly Paul Rains' guitar work which is complex yet seemingly effortless (think The Wave Pictures' David Tattersall with more fuzz). There's also some tip top slide guitar on "Another Year" and the song-writing, whilst low-key, is still beautifully sketched, picturesque if you will. It's not that the band have grown up, their songs still ooze with a kind of naive youthful vigor, it's what makes them so refreshing, but this album sees them up the stakes both emotionally and musically. Listen to "Bright Eyes" - following in the great line of indie boy/girl duets (see Lush/Jarvis Cocker's "Ciao" as the ultimate template of this art), this track sees guitarist Paul Rains stepping into the spotlight with an understated vocal performance and a crunching guitar solo. "Angela" - a song of unrequited love with a quiet restraint and pop melody that would make it a perfect musical cousin to Elton John's "Daniel". "Crickets In The Rain" - The band get back to her wistful best with this track which sees Morris reminiscing, apparently fully aware of the rose-tinted glasses we sometimes see things through. One of the more positive tracks on the record, pop cultural references and all.