Los Angeles, 2016. If you were asked what to expect on life in the golden city, you may expect habitants to be living the stateside bliss of sunshine and leisure, a modern day utopia of living to surf, create and explore your own personality. In the eyes of Allah-Las, the perception of the westside american dream isn’t so real.
While the group are quick to distance themselves and the state of living in the sunshine state, in particular on their new record – “Music is always influenced by your surroundings and Calico Review is no exception” – bassist Spencer Dunham doesn’t deny its negative influence on them as a group of people.”As an LA native and a person in a band, I feel like we’re put in this position to promote migration to the land of surf sand and sun – but actually I want people to leave. There’s too many damn people as it is.”
Comments on overpopulation and gentrification obviously ring true on this side of the pond, its negative impact on the arts and culture itself a stifling censor. So it’s especially commendable that we have ‘Calico Review’, a record of consideration and depth that displays the unity of the group.
With the cinematic scope and mellow, subtle strings and keys of ‘Famous Phone Figure’, and ‘200 South La Brea’s distinctly critical view of life in their home – the record creates a particular vibe much like their previous releases, a cohesive atmosphere that carries throughout. “Calico review is the record we worked hardest on to date. We spent time demo’ing the songs and put a lot of thought into the mixing and layering of instrument. I think all of the factors made the record what it is, each of our records have had distinct feelings.”
While LA may not be all its cracked up to be, with Allah-Las creating music like this, perhaps it is a blessing in disguise after all.
Allah-Las play Simple Things Festival on 22nd October. Check out ‘Could Be You’ below.