Release Date: Feb 3, 2015
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Having been active since 2011, it wasn’t until last year’s release Feel Safe that people really started to pay some serious attention to All We Are. It’s a song that was initially written in one day as an experiment by the band to see what they were capable of putting together, and it perfectly demonstrates how they were about to define themselves. Firstly, there’s that underlying groove that pulsates throughout the track.
The Liverpool-based trio All We Are have their fingers in quite a few pies on their self-titled debut album. Taking cues from chillwave, modern R&B, soft rock, and left-field pop, they sound like three different bands at once, but in the end, they sound like they are well on their way to crafting a sound that's theirs alone. They might not be there quite yet, as many songs on the album feel lifted from other band's catalogs, but thanks to the strength of the vocals and the sticky hooks of the songs, it's not a roadblock to enjoying the album.
In May 2013, All We Are described their single ‘Utmost Good’, accurately, as “The Bee Gees on diazepam”. Nearly two years later, bassist Guro Gikling is touting the Liverpool trio’s debut album as “psychedelic boogie”. The 11 tracks here fit both descriptions. Opener ‘Ebb/Flow’ thrums with delicate melody, blending The xx’s midnight edge with Wild Beasts’ theatricality, a careful mix of electronics and isolated notes from guitarist Luis Santos mesh prettily on ‘Feel Safe’; and ‘I Wear You’ is an urgent disco love song with a breathy ”Ooh, ooh, ooh” refrain.
“There is nothing like it when it strikes,” runs one of several unfalteringly pretty lines found on the debut album from Liverpool trio All We Are. The group consists of three musicians from diverse backgrounds, their roots spanning from Ireland to Norway, all the way to Brazil. Together, they unite on a strange kinship, Richard ‘O Flynn and Guro Gikling’s vocals delicately combining, Luis Santos’ spiralling, glasslike guitars doing the rest.
All We Are’s debut album is, above all else, smooth. The kind of "smooth" that you pronounce in a way that becomes a tongue massage—smoooooooooth. But not "smooth" in the way people can be, synonymous with "oily" or "slick," denoting a kind of facile charm that can make you like someone you otherwise find objectionable. In fact, it’s very difficult to ascribe any sort of personality trait to All We Are based on the available evidence.
Much commotion’s been made about All We Are, the cosmopolitan three-piece based in Liverpool, as they slowly blossom into fully-fledged alt. pop stars. With their eponymous debut long-player swiftly approaching, the commotion’s unlikely to subside. First meeting at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts on international student orientation day, the trio - comprising Luís Santos (guitars), Guro Gikling (bass) and Rich O'Flynn (percussion) - have gone from fresh-faced students to incisive pop journeymen with a demonstrable goal: to melt your mind.