Allo Darlin’s second release titled Europe is a choice indie pop concoction that pleases at every turn. The music is both recognizable and familiar in a good way, and all at once. Pick your favorite happy place: be it a cramped downtown bar tucked into an alley or cruising slightly over the allowable limit on a sparsley crowded freeway; the 10 songs on Europe are the perfect companion for passing the time. The London-based quartet formulated the kernels of this album while endlessly touring the continent in support of their self-titled debut. The European tour was such a galvanizing experience for the group that they name-checked the continent in the album title.
Allo Darlin creatively marries folk-pop sound with a strong indie flavor focusing on song melody. Beautiful jangly guitars surrounded by the intimate but rich vocals of Elizabeth Morris make for an instantly satisfying listening experience. Central to the music are her lyrics that balance and accentuate the effervescence permeating the album. The songs tend to begin with catchy-poppy guitar leading into vocals/chorus. Standouts like the timeless pop nuggets “Wonderland” and the first single “Capricornia” exemplify these qualities. Both have this achingly dense sensibility hidden behind a happy and infectious hard candy hook.
You can’t help while listening but to personalize a wrong turn missed in a forked road from years past:
“You say the things you love are the things you never had, and when you hold them they pass through your hands like sand. Well, I have made promises too that I could never hold, and underneath the sun, the parts of these histories unfold.”
The track “Tallulah” is most unlike the rest but fits perfectly. Basically it’s Morris and a ukulele while again managing to nail the same sentiment. Tallulah is a worthy heir to the Who’s “Blue, Red and Grey,” capturing the fleeting melancholy of ordinary people in everyday situations.
On Europe, Allo Darlin stays safely in the “pop” cul de sac, but it’s not a journey that has you thinking about riding in circles. It’s about taking in the landscape and vistas, and enjoying the ride.