The Australian six-piece’s name suits them well. Alpine’s airy female vocals float over tinkly piano lines that pop into the air like icicles. The songs sound fresh and crisp, clouds of breath expelled from the band’s mouths.
Despite their wintery sound, Alpine’s debut album is anything but cold. The jaunty tunes sounds like they’re taking a walk in the crisp autumn air, like they’re traveling somewhere. It’s the soundtrack to an adventure. Perhaps one would listen to it on a long train ride through the countryside, on a road trip or while arriving in another country amidst snow-capped mountains.
The album is thoroughly danceable, complete with handclaps, cowbell and catchy beats. Song lengths hover around four minutes, but nothing seems to drag. The vocal harmonies, done by members Phoebe and Lou, sparkle amidst the percussion and synthesizers. Sometimes the words are indistinct and difficult to pick out, but they aren’t the most important thing in the album. It’s more about the overall mood on this album than the specific message of each individual song.
In fact, after a few listens, no distinct songs pop out as being significantly better than the whole. A Is for Alpine is best taken in all at once, as a whole album, which is something to be admired. Too often, in today’s musical world, we’ve become a single-oriented culture. People watch the video, listen to the hit and rarely take the time to enjoy a whole album, start to finish. Alpine has created a work that deserves to be listened to, start to finish. The songs move effortlessly from one to the next, with no jarring transitions. They’ve created a delightful mood album, a strong debut full-length that deserves several in-depth listens.
A Is for Alpine is a perfect record for a long train ride or the beginning of a vacation. Maybe it’s because it takes the listener on a journey that lasts the whole album, so it’s fitting to listen to it while going traveling. Whatever the reason, keep an eye on Alpine.
Alpine – A Is for Alpine tracklist:
- “Lovers 1″
- “Lovers 2″
- “Seeing Red”
- “All For One”
- “Too Safe”
- “In the Wild”
- “The Vigour”