Allman Brown - '1000 Years' (Album)
Allman Brown releases his evocative 11-track debut album '1000 years', a resplendent and highly anticipated blend of subtle electronica and popular folk.
Despite only becoming aware of the music of Allman Brown in December of last year, I have impatiently awaited the release of this full length debut album as if I had been waiting not just two months, but '1000 Years' - the aptly named album title for fans of Brown, hyperbole and those constantly fascinated by the passing of time as Brown tells VENTS magazine:
"The [album] title comes from a lyric of mine. I am fascinated by memory and history and how time bends exists in our feelings and thoughts. 1000 years is a nod to that feeling. I guess it represents a sort of magic place for me that I occasionally get to visit."
'1000 Years' is an intimate and reflective track covering Brown's own personal experiences. However, through his own reflection on the basic human emotions that are intrinsic to us all, this album reaches out to its listener with arms outstretched, inviting them into the fold, daring them not to connect to the emotion in some way, on some level, encouraging them to recall their own past experiences, their own memories, their own feelings alongside his own.
Album opener 'Ancient Light' sees Brown's smooth vocals richly rise above fluttering percussion, a glorious blend of minimal electronica and evocative vocals, gently changing dynamics and building to climax with graceful fluidity.
'Fires', touches upon the thousand years lyric and opens with a bleak yet firm electric guitar and folklore-esque vocal delivery, soon to build into a very contemporary and fierce indie pop track, addressing a loved with the poignant words, "I was made in the fires of your care for me, any strength that I have, yeah you gave it to me, and I will find you in the next life".
'Foolish Love', another track to feature the lyrics that inspired the album title, has an unreserved eerie quality to it - marking itself as a haunting track where Brown sings with a reverence, "Do you dream of the ghost, that one day you will become, for a thousand years, one thousand years".
'Don't Let Me Go' includes feel-good, upbeat, organic instrumentation and a cheerful vocal melody where the lyrics are a vulnerable and trusting plea to a partner, "so please carry me when I'm weary, and I will tend to you when you are tired, because you are bound to me and I am bound to you". 'Last Dance', a fuller, poppier, uptempo sound that carries the same sort of feel-good mood.
'Shape Of You' - a hazy offering with squiffy production displaying a very different tone to the rest of the album makes for a peculiar yet noteworthy collaboration with Canadian singer Lowell, which reminded me of the joy and admiration I feel when I listen to Ben Howard by the end of the song.
'Palms' (the first track I ever heard of Allman Brown, reviewed, here) and the heart-rending and hugely successful single, 'Sons and Daughters' features the stunning vocals of Liz Lawrence and showcase two different sides to their joint creativity, each track an equally emotive listening experience in their own respective right.
'Sweetest Thing', Brown's current single, is a gorgeous, uplifting acoustic-led indie pop song written on a trip to Miami with his wife. 'Rivers', a heart-rending, collaboration with Robyn Sherwell where lyrics such as, "Run river run to the sea, water always wants to be free," makes for an amazing emotional catharsis.
Album closer, 'Goodbye', is led by a deeply sad guitar strum and merciful vocals.A humbling, stripped back offering, full of confusion and displaying a regret at finding tenderness in a human connection that came too late. Allman Brown is a versatile artist with his own unique blend of electronica and folk; a maestro at commandeering emotions through his adept grasp of atmospherics, textures, and considered lyricism.
There are songs to cry to, songs to love to, and songs to make you want to be a better person. To be happier. To love harder. To be more open. To be more honest. To wonder where the time has gone. To ponder what is next to come. To live for now. Allman Brown has got it all covered in '1000 Years'.
Words of Karla Harris
'1000 Years' is out now and available HERE. You can also listen to the album via Spotify.