All We Are
by Matthew Yau
Earlier this week, we had a lovely chat with All We Are to see what they are up to; busy working on their debut album and listening to Dirty Projectors was the general gist. But now we’d like to show you why RCC were so keen to catch up with the three-piece from Liverpool – being a band, it’s obviously their music!
There’re only two EPs to judge from but it’s enough to get us excited about the prospect of a debut album. First, there is the debut EP which – like many artists’ early material – appears tentative at times. ‘I Fantasize’ lures you towards a climax only to recede back into its shell again. For all of Guro’s subtle tones Rich’s vocals can sometimes stifle, but not in the EP’s highlight ‘Come Back Safe’. The timbre their vocals create when they harmonise is one of the defining features that make All We Are so appealing and alluring to listen to. In this particularly tune, it’s amazing to think that with the colourful vocals, Rich is also delivering a crisp drum beat that adds spiritual presence underneath Luis’ weeping guitar. They are literally summoning the safe return of a loved one as the chorus “Come back safe/Whatever you do” rings through.
Their latest EP We Hunt displays a slight shift in their sound. Some of the psych-folk tinges have been tempered and been blended with something more similar to art-rock. You pick this up immediately with the dark, atmospheric opener where the guitar and drums exhibit a new depth and richness that wasn’t as prevalent in their debut EP. It is this sound that has drawn comparisons with the XX although All We Are are slightly more dynamic in their compositions often incorporating breaks for the instruments to sing for a bit and interesting arrangements that keep you guessing.
This EP is all about ‘Cardhouse’ and ‘Red Sky’ though and we hope All We Are decide to go in this direction for their album. Again, the typical deep drumming with its echoes of Asian influences opens ‘Cardhouse’; they even sing “You were closer to the east already”. It’s a track full of imagery, something you close your eyes to and just listen. ‘Red Sky’, in contrast, is one their most folky tracks to date and in it; Guro’s vocals have an Alela Diane quality. As a result, the instrumental takes a step back a little only providing delicate support while Guro radiates her vivid lyrics: “Lighthouse break the night/Light up the sky, light up the sky/Cast the dark aside”. RCC are big fans of female vocalists and Guro can proudly stand alongside the likes of Cults, Summer Camp, Slow Club and Tennis amongst many others.
One thing we can be sure of, judging from the diversity of their material is that the album will be dynamic, exciting and likely to cause a stir among people for great albums as opposed to one-hit wonders. They only formed just over a year ago but in that time, have already found a sound that suits them. I mean, who else would have the confidence in their playing and songwriting abilities to go on a European Tour before the band has even formed!