Debut album displays Ivan and Aloysha potentialPublished 5:06pm Saturday, February 16, 2013
The timing for the debut album from Ivan and Alyosha may be just about perfect.
After generating buzz with a number of EPs and live performances, the Seattle folk group is finally releasing its debut full-length album, “All The Times We Had.”
Coming off the recent success of other folk-inspired bands like Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers at the Grammys last week, the timing seems to be just about pristine for this release.
From the first notes, it’s clear Ivan and Alyosha are a fresh, sweet-sounding addition to the folk-pop realm, with a heavy emphasis of the pop side.
The album opens on the bright “Be Your Man,” which sets the tone for the tone for an album of more optimistic songs than you’d expect from most folk-inspired groups.
Lead vocalist Tim Wilson leads the group with smooth and steady vocals across the mostly upbeat collection of 11 tracks.
The album may not boast a rousing anthem, like “I will Wait” from Mumford and Sons. But songs like “Easy to Love” and “Run for Cover” are played with a free-sounding quality that likely wasn’t easy to attain.
When compared to folk groups like the Fleet Foxes, Ivan and Alyosha come off as the domesticated sibling. After all, many of the group’s members are married, which may contribute to the inherently cozy quality of the music. Even the most introspective songs, like “Don’t Wanna Die Anymore,” feel a little too comfortable.
Still, the group does a good job of focusing on positive topics without becoming too sappy.
The group’s experience shows throughout the album, but at times the sound is a bit too polished, like it’s been sitting on the shelf sanding off the rough edges for too long.
Despite often too-cozy quality, Ivan and Alyosha will be a treat for folk-pop fans, and it’s easy to see why the band has generated buzz. There’s quite a bit of potential, so expect to hear more from them.