Album of the Week - All Tvvins IIVV: feelgood indie-pop at its finest
Conor Adams and Lar Kaye have been here before, but never bearing quite as formidable a statement of intent. Both members of All Tvvins have form on the Irish music scene; Adams fronted the Bloc Party/Foals-esque Cast of Cheers, a band who never quite fulfilled their huge potential, while Kaye enjoyed a small but devoted international fanbase as virtuosic guitarist of instrumental math-rockers Adebisi Shank.
The expectation of such a pairing may be one of loud, frenetic riffs and offbeat time signatures, but in reality their debut album is a much more considered affair. Melody plays a central role throughout these 10 tracks, whether it’s the chiming glockenspiel that opens the album on Book, Kaye’s subtle flourishes on the insistent groove of Too Young to Love or the soaring, anthemic choruses of The Call.
Adams may not be capable of Adele-style emotional balladry, but his swarthy voice is perfectly suited to this style of music.
Most importantly, this is a pop album through and through. Though the pair’s indie roots are audible in patches – hints of Talking Heads filter through End of the Day, Adams’s bass playing recalls The Police on the comparatively sombre Too Much Silence and there are vague nods to LCD Soundsystem’s similar brand of danceable pop-rock throughout – it’s easy to imagine these slickly produced songs on mainstream radio. That’s largely down to the top-class pop producers they’ve worked with here, Matt Schwartz, Jim Abbiss and Dan Grech-Marguerat among them.
With zig-zagging synth riffs filling out their sound and lending a clubby ambience to songs such as Darkest Ocean, Thank You and the juddering beats of soaring closer Unbelievable, All Tvvins tick several boxes at once without sacrificing any of their credibility or compromising on their indie ideals.
Put simply, this is feelgood music at its finest.