Nearby

Alright Alright

Hooves & Sugar Records, 2018

http://alrightx2.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/05/2019

The Denver based Alright Alright have a quite an interesting back story. They are a husband and wife duo, made up by classically trained pianist China Kent and her husband, Seth Kent, a guitar player and former guitar tech for fellow Colorado residents and superstars The Fray. The two bonded over their mutual adoration of U2's Achtung Baby, nbtc__dv_250 and though songwriting was on hold a bit while they raised their family, Nearby arrives at a time when the pair's creativity is at an all-time high.

This debut album, however, doesn't sound much like Bono and company. Instead, it breeds atmospheric folk ideas where Americana and chamber influences are present in a very intimate, comfortable setting.

“Little Birds Little Girls” starts out with a dramatic entrance where breathy vocals and warm keys paint a very emotive landscape, while percussion helps the tune build into a lush, gorgeous stunner. “The Liar” follows and has dual gender vocals set to an acoustic guitar and quaint keys, which also shapes into electric playfulness. “Too Much” has plenty of China's singing and piano work and makes great use of strings to help punctuate the tone.

The middle of the record continues with “Whisper Your Name,” which has a lullaby feel with acoustic strumming, and “Gold Coast Highway” gets soulful and aching while allowing Seth's guitar work to really shine. “Be Kind”, one of the best tracks present, recruits a choir and strings for an orchestral influenced masterpiece that alone is worth the price of admission.

The end of the album is just as thriving as the earlier portion, with “By The Bed” bringing in twang to  dense, blurry ambience, and the piano-driven “Luckiest Girl In America,” which allows China's strong pipes to soar in a rich, textured environment.

Let's not pretend that there aren't countless similar outfits that exist today playing this sort of folk music. However, the chemistry, skill, and attention to detail here is something that's much less common, which amkes Alright Alright worth exploring and taking the time to absorb.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2019 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Hooves & Sugar Records, and is used for informational purposes only.