SINGLE REVIEW: Allora – ‘Unspoken/Unheard’


One of the reasons I love what Allora do is that their music is hard to define. On one hand it skates in an area we could define as alternative rock but on the other this is not alternative rock in any conventional sense. On the ‘this is alternative rock’ slate we have quiet/swells of sound but then we have lush harmonies that sit in a Laurel Canyon kinda sound, glorious swirling sounds that you can fall into. You get the picture, this is not an easy thing to define. Having said that, it’s simple to say their music is always fantastic.

In ‘Unspoken/Unheard’ the track opens with something that is structured in a kind of math-rock/alt-rock way, then there’s a vocal harmony section that has me in mind of Fleetwood Mac or a form of art-rock or even 70s’ soft-rock ballad which swells into harmonies and huge guitars.

In a way it’s a musical story that reflects the song’s subject. A ‘situation ship’ that feels unbearable. You share an undeniable connection, that has always been unspoken, and your feelings continue to fall on unhearing ears’. Here the apparently OK connection is represented by the structured almost too jaunty start. And as the song progresses the music represents different sides of the situation. The build to the huge guitars has an uneasiness in sound that sonically is almost unbearably difficult to listen to.

What makes ‘Unspoken/Unheard’ (and the band’s music in general) so utterly wonderful is the way they meld and flow these different sounds into a coherent whole. The problem with trying to describe this song is that, yes it has these parts, but it doesn’t give you any idea of how the song feels when you listen to it.

In common with a lot of their music ‘Unspoken/Unheard’ leads you through a story both lyrically and musically. It starts in one place that you may feel comfortable with but then either suddenly or gradually you find yourself in an entirely different place; it’s magical. It’s mesmerising. Its musical complexity blows your mind, while you are swept away in the sheer beauty of the music.

This song is unbelievably good. It has both lyrical and musical depth. It has moments of pure beauty that leave you speechless, moments that are so emotionally loaded they leave you wrung out, and times when you have this voice in the back of your head that asks how in the hell did they manage to get here from there. This is completely fabulous.

The info

The band recorded this single as part of a 5 track EP at The Nave, a three studio complex built into a 19th century Methodist church in Leeds, collaborating with resident producer Tom Orrell (Juno Dream, Alfie Blue, Big Softy, Pool Sharks, KOYO, L.D.Moses) to bring their vision into fruition. The Nave offered them an opportunity for experimentation with sound – The drums were tracked in the former church hall, wide, open and vast, the guitars in a smaller more compact space using a plethora of pedals, and the 3 lead vocals together in a circle formation, allowing them to intertwine as one voice.

Caty Labbett – Bass & Vocals
Jesse Wilson – Drums
Maisie Powell – Guitar & Vocals
Shira Colombick – Guitar & Vocals

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.