“A record isn’t just a record, records can hold memories,” Elizabeth Morris sings on “My Sweet Friend,” the last song on the second release by Allo Darlin’.
Europe is a record that has just begun to collect the memories of its listeners inside of its grooves. It is twee pop, full stop. “Major” twee acts The Pastels, Shop Assistants, Belle & Sebastian, and Camera Obscura are all the proud progeny of Scotland. Thus, twee is British in a way that is not synonymous with being English.
Morris is Australian and her bandmates are English. Therefore, Allo Darlin’ is also British but not wholly English.
Like its musical kindred spirits, Allo Darlin’ expertly employs the essential elements of twee: a heavy emphasis on female and/or upper-register male vocals, crisp and bubbly guitar arpeggios, and sentimental lyrics that stop amply short of sappiness.
The many awesome songs on Europe feel like warm summer days, including the melancholy ones spent indoors that The Smiths sang about. This is one of the best new albums of 2012 by a young band from whom we can expect even greater things.