We Come From the Same Place
Fortuna POP! - 6 October 2014
Allo Darlin’ are set to release their eagerly awaited new album We Come From the Same Place this October via Fortuna POP! (UK/Europe) and Slumberland Records (US). 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 self-titled 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, as Elizabeth explains, “So many things have happened since I first wrote the songs that make up this album, it´s difficult to remember back to where it all began. The songs were written very quickly, during a period when I found writing songs very easy, whereas I often find songwriting very difficult. Some of the songs were written so fast I can´t even really remember writing them. The songs were a joy to write, and writing them made me feel better about lots of things.”
If the songs came quickly the recording of the album was a more considered process, with the band first testing out the new material at a series of small shows – christened the Compass Shows – in North, South, East and West London. They then returned to their spiritual home of Soup Studios, where they recorded their first album, to work with their long-term collaborator, producer Simon Trought. 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. I love Paul´s singing and I wanted to hear him do it more, so it´s quite selfish really!” 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. Bass player Bill Botting sums up Elizabeth’s remarkable songwriting ability by saying, “The key to Elizabeth’s songwriting appeal is that she’s so adept at pinpointing certain ideas and moods; leaving one city and finding a new one and realising that beginnings and endings have a lot in common.”
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). Their debut album attracted many plaudits including being named No. 2 record of the year by online retailer eMusic, and a glowing 1,200 word essay by Robert Forster of The Go-Betweens in the Australian critical magazine, The Monthly. 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. It was also named Rough Trade Shop’s Album Of The Month, where it went on to become the biggest selling album of the year. The band have been playlisted at BBC 6Music and have recorded sessions for Lauren Laverne, Marc Riley and John Kennedy (XFM), as well being Steve Lamacq’s personal pick for BBC Introducing. Their releases to date, along with their joyous and effervescent live shows, have seen them build an intensely loyal and ever-increasing fanbase.
The truism is that third albums are difficult beasts, but by remaining true to themselves Allo Darlin’ have side-stepped the pitfalls to produce a wonderful record - thoughtful and exciting and exquisitely played – that will please their existing army of fans and newcomers alike. On first reading the album’s title may seem enigmatic, but from the very personal nature of Elizabeth Morris’ finely drawn vignettes to the more universal connections between the band and their audience, its meaning will be obvious to all who fall under the spell of this magical band.
"Breezy rom-pop brilliance." 8/10, NME
“Classic indie pop... doesn't rewrite the formula for wistful bedsit charm as much as show that it can still be carried out masterfully.” Pitchfork
“A masterclass of modern cult pop.” The Guardian
“Terrific, witty and heartfelt, like a less moody Belle & Sebastian.” The New York Times