Album review: All We Are - All We Are

4/5

Album review: All We Are - All We Are

It is difficult to articulate quite what it is that makes All We Are’s proggy pop so beguiling, with the musicians themselves especially stumped. “The Bee Gees on diazepam” and “psychedelic boogie boogie” are the best this Cork/Brazil/Norway trio have come up with and, while this may speak to the disembodied eloquence of their sound (featuring Douglas native and Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa music graduate Rich O’Flynn on vocals and drums), it does not convey its wonder and subtle beauty.

They are, it is true, building on the achievements of others. My Bloody Valentine and Ride are obvious touchstones and All We Are are clearly versed in the nu-gaze electronica of Ulrich Schnauss and Manual. There are nods towards contemporary art-pop also, with hints of Wild Beasts and The xx at their most poignantly languid.

Nonetheless, the best moments on their debut, written in their adopted home of Liverpool and recorded in London with Django Django/Bats for Lashes producer Dan Carey, are strikingly original. ‘Ebb/Flow’ is intricate and absorbing; ‘Something About You’ and ‘Go’ have the quality of music assembled somewhere deep, dark and mysterious. This is a gorgeous album, shimmering and exotic in its quirkiness. It is also encouraging that the group seem unfazed by the attention coming their way. Temperamentally, they are evidently as chilled as the soporific grooves they marshall so winningly.

“Hype is people talking about your band,” O’Flynn said recently. “The UK is really competitive. Not in terms of everyone is out to get you — there’s just so much music around. The more people talking about you the better; hopefully they are loving the music. That’s all you can do.”

Such an attitude, married to a strikingly original sound, suggests that All We Are may be around for the long haul.

  • All We Are play Cyprus Avenue in Cork on Friday

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