Allo Darlin’ – Allo Darlin’

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

This is charming as fuck. Now, I love twee pop, and a lot of it can be described as charming. Often, that is because the twee-poppers are not technically very good, but are so obviously committed to making music and enjoying themselves despite their limitations that the lack of polish ends up becoming integral to the appeal. That is not what’s going on here. Allo Darlin’ know what they are doing and do it extremely well. They have not stumbled their way into a great record (or, as it turns out, three great records). Elizabeth Morris, late of Tender Trap, provides gorgeous vocals that leverage her Australian accent into convincing you that she is your best friend while she gives you candid glimpses into her life, and manages to convey all the nuance of the story behind the lyrics with a knowing pause or playful lilt. The musicianship behind her is flawless but not soulless; it is lively and lovely. Allo Darlin’ does what you expect them to:  there is a ukelele, there is a song about Polaroid pictures, there is a reference to a sad boy in a sweater (except it’s not sweater, it’s a “jumper”). They just do it much better than you might think they would. They remind me a lot of Camera Obscura, but with slightly more human touches and real-world details.

What I Think of This Album

What a phenomenal debut this is! This is an album of songs about love, amusement parks, nights out, movies, picnics, and sun-dappled leaves on trees. It is hopelessly romantic in ways you refuse to believe in but can’t help believing anyway.

Morris’s voice is heaven-sent and the crisp, clean production perfectly accentuates every single-note guitar lead, bouncy bass, and well-placed lap steel, violin, flute and, yes, ukelele part. The songs here are buoyed by plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” and “sha-la-la-la-las” and all the other things that mean I love you. Morris’s lyrics tell wonderfully evocative tales that make you nod in recognition and hope it all works out for her. “Silver Dollars” is about keeping sadness and reality at bay with alcohol and music and the hope that the person you want will want you (maybe if you spend just a few more minutes together they will realize it?) and then getting up the next day and doing it all over again.

“Kiss Your Lips” is a life-affirming bonbon that manages to quote Weezer (“El Scorcho,” which is objectively a terrible song) without sounding stupid and features an oddly downcast bridge that crescendoes back into the grinning chorus with aplomb. “If Loneliness Was Art” highlights Morris’s ability to bring a universality to the very specific details that color her songs. “Let’s Go Swimming” celebrates the insularity of a young couple, in naked defiance of punks and bankers alike, with a violin part that travels from Sweden to Australia. “What Will Be Will Be” is the woozy closer that of course quotes Doris Day.

The Best Thing About This Album

“And when you call me on the telephone / my fingers will twist through the cord / and I’ll slide my feet up and down the wall / but I know that I’m stronger than you are”

Release Date

June 2010

The Cover Art

A weird misstep. An underwater photograph of someone holding their hands around their eyes in the manner of binoculars, though maybe their thumbs are in their nostrils and their hands are actually at cheek level, below the eye? I don’t fucking know, and I don’t care. This is an ugly, pointless photo that has nothing to do with either the music or the album title or anything, apparently.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑