“Forget hipsters, let’s all hate on twee for a while,” read a recent headline on the website Brokelyn. The accompanying article was about Brooklyn’s “artisanal” food makers and the complicated emotions they evoke. (Sure, they make good food, but do they have to be so precious about it?) But the same kind of feelings come up when dealing with twee indie pop.
Take the band Allo Darlin’. If you haven’t already formed your opinion of them based upon their name or their promo photo, try to make it through the next sentence with an open mind. The London quartet came together a little more than five years ago when transplanted Aussie Elizabeth Morris put together a band to back up her songs, which she often performs on ukulele. Still with me?
In any case, when the band’s debut full-length came out in 2010, fellow Aussie Robert Forster, formerly of cult favorites the Go-Betweens, rightly praised its songs as “well written and imaginatively played.” However, Forster also predicted that Allo Darlin’s brand of old-school indie might soon come back into style, making it harder for the band to stand out.
Sure enough it did, and Allo Darlin’s follow-up, Europe, comes out in the midst of a backlash against all things twee — a time when even Zooey Deschanel feels the need to go on SNL and poke fun at her own quirky public image. Still, Europe deserves a good listening. The jangly guitars and sweet backup vocals that accompany the first single, “Capricornia,” may be clichés within Allo Darlin’s chosen genre, but they’re also wonderfully appropriate to Morris’s nostalgic song about her faraway home.
ALLO DARLIN’: The Casbah, Sunday, May 6, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $8.