Cheap Lullaby Records
Ivan & Alyosha is a four-piece acoustic folk rock band out of Seattle, Washington, having gained some national attention after being featured on NPR Music recently. Their newest EP, Fathers Be Kind, is a five-song album of acoustic pop songs, dressed in the trendy stylings of Fleet Foxes and Local Natives. Full of catchy melodies, prominent 4-part harmonies, and eccentric percussion, these guys don't shy away from their obvious influences and I want to point out that there's a certain amount of bravery in that. So many indie bands so pretentiously pretend to be influenced by obscure 60s pop and Lady Gaga, when the music that their peers are making seems like a much more familiar place start. The more important thing to ask yourself when approaching a band like this is "does the band make the sound their own"? And for the most part, in this very short EP, Ivan & Alyosha have demonstrated the ability to do just that.
Whether its the heartfelt lyrics on "I Was Born To Love Her" or the sweet verse melody and interesting bridge section of "Everything is Burning", the Fathers Be Kind EP does a good job of keeping the production of these songs feeling pretty novel, while still keeping the focus primarily on Tim Wilson's excellent vocal deliveries. Somewhat surprisingly, these guys even make a choppy drum machine beat sound like folk in "Living for Someone". Lyrically, there are some good ideas, but if enough cringe-worthy moments to show that there is plenty of room to grow for these young songwriters. One of the best tracks is the final song, "Glorify", a gospel-folk song that magnifies these guys' unique spirituality and clever wordplay. Its tracks like these that highlight what sets these guys apart that make the biggest impression on me.
Having not released a full-length LP yet, the Fathers Be Kind EP still feels like group of song sketches in many ways. However, there are enough great moments in this short EP to get me excited for their proposed full-length album to start production in April. So if you are looking to satisfy your hunger for some agreeable, acoustic indie-pop until Fleet Foxes' newest album releases in a couple months, look no further than Ivan & Alyosha's Fathers Be Kind EP. I also recommend picking up their first EP, The Verse, The Chorus as well, which features the delectable single, "Easy to Love".
Ivan & Alyosha - I Was Born To Love Her