Record Review: Alert New London

Alert New London
Columbus, OH

“Dreamy music with meaning”

Ambient music and lovely vocals are currently popular musical stylings. However, many bands won’t conquer the techniques that keep those stylings interesting. Alert New London succeeds because they take the multi-layered approach, creating looseness and interest within their music by not allowing other instruments to overwhelm the clear vocals and well-blended, well-constructed rhythm section. Cues from The Shins, vocally, and Radiohead, sonically, are undeniable in this piece of beautifully crafted dream pop. The melodies are easy to sing, and the sound effects are very modern, ranging from a large arsenal of guitar effects to overlapping loops, echoes and decay. It’s really not a surprise that it took fifteen months to complete the epicness of Youth, because it has the vibrancy and precision of an album made by a much more experienced band.
The journey of Youth begins with finger picked acoustic guitar, soon followed by atmospherics played in the style of violin  – either on guitar effects or keyboards – then a clear tenor comes in, declaring “Deeper down the rabbit hole, that is where your soul will grow” on opening song “Alice.” Then, the bass and drums come in. Those buildups can create new sound discoveries on each album play. Each song has deep thoughtful lyrics, ones that can inspire the listener to follow, relate to or think on themes expressed. Sonically, the vocals are incredibly clear and with two excellent singers (Cory Nicol and Dave Woodrow, who both play guitar), they become wonderfully polyphonic, occasionally opting for different lines sung simultaneously. The other members who make up the band of best friends include Stephen Lee on bass, Jim Fowler on drums and percussion, and Gavin McKenzie on keyboards. (Self-released)
Mastered by Brian Lucey at Magic Garden
Drums Recorded at Sonic Lounge Studios
Additional Recording at La Maison Sur La Colline

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