Alter The Press!


ATP! Album Review: Ivan and Alyosha – All The Times We Had

For those who haven’t noticed Ivan and Alyosha’s rise to power, or have been locked in a glass box for the last few years totally oblivious to the Mumford & Sons-led wave of folk recognition in the mainstream, the band and its music are an evolution of both indie rock and folk-pop. They borrow from two parallel but distinct genres and shake them up in a way that’s both fun and inventive, somewhere in between The Smiths and Simon and Garfunkel, but a whole lot more optimistic.

The record brings back flavors of American folk that haven’t seen much light of day since its quasi-religious origins, with the lyrical style and vocal melodies of tracks like ‘Fathers be Kind’ that wouldn’t sound too out of place in a church, were that churches hired bands and played songs that had been written in the last hundred years. Another track, ‘Running for Cover,’ sounds almost like a lullaby, with quick and intricate acoustic guitar riff galloping through slow, lingering notes from strings and vocals alike.

Where the record seems a bit slow it is but limited by the extent of its genre, despite its attempts to break down its very walls. To maintain its pacing and style the album does not stray too far into pop or rock territory, lest it lose its folk feel, and that limits it somewhat to a small range, though it is a fun one, and one Ivan and Alyosha have all but mastered in the last few years.

The album has fun, it has emotion, and it has enough beauty to send an insomniac to sleep. It would be perfect if it had more power, but more power isn’t necessarily always better, and for the majority of the record, the sonic balance of past and present is enough.


Edward Strickson

All The Times We Had is available now via Dualtone.

Alter The Press!