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Despite a canceled gig, commit to listening to Allo Darlin’

May 27, 2011 |  1:28 pm

The wistful young pop of London's Allo Darlin' doesn't necessarily make a dashing entrance. It arrives hunched shouldered and shy, all jangly melodies and nervous aggression, knowingly not fitting in, but far from eccentric. If Allo Darlin's self-titled 2010 debut was overlooked, chalk it up to its celebration of the ordinary, and roll-of-the-eyes weariness toward bohemian quirks.

Looking a "neurotic" and "paranoid" lover square in the face, singer Elizabeth Morris hits him where it hurts. "Woody Allen couldn't play you," chides Morris, singing with a grow-the-heck-up directness on a song that's named after the famed director.

Musically, it all goes down with tambourine-accented beats, but if the sound is a tad Belle & Sebastian cutesy, Morris makes it clear that those anxious ticks and forced drama are anything but. "So cerebral," Morris sings of one of Allen's characters, impatient with those who run away from romance. 

The band was due to play L.A. this weekend, but blasted "visa issues" have delayed the start of the foursome's U.S. tour by about two weeks. (The band says on its website that the canceled dates, including the scratched Saturday show at the Echo, will be rescheduled.) A drag, no doubt, for the band, but news of the hold-up now affords us time to get better acquainted with the music of Allo Darlin'. Start with "If Loneliness was Art," embedded above in all its retro-pop and awkward lust glory. 


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-- Todd Martens