Louder Than War’s Jay S. Rawley has been familiarising himself with Seattleites Ivan & Alyosha and finds a sound that is simultaneously familiar and strikingly original.
The term “Seattle sound” probably means so many things to so many different people, that at this point it’s almost ubiquitous. The Sonics, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana. All of them have been saddled with it at one time or other. But fast forward to 2007. That was when Seattleites Tim Wilson and Ryan Carbary, tore the name Ivan & Alyosha from the pages of Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” and all of a sudden, the Seattle sound had been given a fresh new sound to add to the list. With brightly strummed guitars at the front, both acoustic and electric, a perfect resting place for the bands soaring vocals is created. The resulting sound is simultaneously familiar and strikingly original.
With the release of “Easy To Love”, which we understand will be reprised on their upcoming full length album “All The Times We Had”, we got a peek at where Ivan & Alyosha were headed, and a push as NPR‘s Song of The Day at SXSW. Also being in the SXSW top 100 didn’t hurt either. Since bringing in Tim’s brother Pete on bass and vocals, and Tim Kim on guitar and vocals, the band has spent the last couple of years writing, and honing their sound on the road, providing support for acts such as Aimee Mann, Brandi Carlile, and The Low Anthem amongst others. Which brings us to the impending release of their new album, of which Tim Wilson says, “We didn’t get it perfect, but I definitely think we got it right.” With the tremeloed opening guitar of “On My Way”, they tried to capture the live vibe of a band feeding off each other, and I think you can hear it. Of “All The Times We Had”, Tim goes on to say, “I think that it’s more mature and more focused, and closer to what we do live, than the records that we’d done before. We definitely had moments in the studio where it was like, ‘Oh, wow, this is special.’” We’ll just have to wait and see, but from what I’ve heard, I tend to agree.
All words by Jay S. Rawley. More work by Jay on Louder Than war can be found here.