Allo Darlin' : Europe
The sunny new release from Allo Darlin’ feeds off nostalgia, but the rose-coloured tint to the music of Europe is offset by the sense of displacement in a foreign country. Even though Australia-born/UK-based vocalist Elizabeth Morris is one of those wordsmiths who can tell you a crystal-clear story, you’re often left wondering if the song is delivered from one person at home to another who is far away, or vice versa. That gently aching sense of distance, however, is never in doubt.
A trio of ballads signal a surge in melancholy and their scattering throughout the more ‘up’ songs makes for a nice balance. But any feelings of homesickness or heartache for an absent lover are overshadowed by Morris’ joyful delivery and melodic guitars that recall the sprightly Sarah Records sound. There may be references to the past and the future, but most of the uptempo pop songs are very much in the present, and loving it.
The best songs on the album have an immediate and infectious appeal, from the wistful opener Neil Armstrong to the Lucksmiths-like pop rush of Northern Lights. “It feels like we’ve made it” is the wide-eyed declaration of the title track, along with “This is life/This is living.” Penultimate track Still Young offers a proposal which is less idealistic than ‘Forever Young’ and less baby-faced than ‘So Young’. Instead, it signals a triumphant yet pensive point at the crossroads, summing up the grounded, grinning appeal of Allo Darlin’.
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: Capricornia
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Warmer Corners THE LUCKSMITHS, Underachievers Please Try Harder CAMERA OBSCURA, Heavenly Vs Satan HEAVENLY
In A Word: Cheerful