When you’re the flavor of the month, it usually pays to strike fast to take advantage. But slow and steady has been the motto for Seattle’s Ivan & Alyosha. Nearly three years after gaining national acclaim for their first EP “Fathers Be Kind” and high-profile tours with Brandi Carlile and Aimee Mann, the band is finally releasing its highly anticipated debut full-length album. And from the sounds of things, the wait for “All The Times We Had” was well worth it.
“We were getting married and having kids,” said front man Tim Wilson about the delay during a recent visit to KIRO Radio’s Seattle Sounds show. “It just took a while to get off the road from the first record, write, record a full length. We just kind of needed a certain amount of time to actually physically and mentally do that.”
The album is a lush, beautiful collection of highly crafted indie pop that evokes everything from the Beatles to Fleet Foxes. Wilson’s sweet voice coupled with the bands complex harmonies feels nostalgic but totally fresh at the same time. Among the standout songs is the title track, with Aimee Mann lending her vocal talents to the cause.
The band had planned to put the album out several years ago. But after recording a number of tracks down in LA in 2011, they were unhappy with the results and scrapped the whole thing.
“It feels more right now because I think we’ve kind of become a band now,” said Wilson. “We had to have that time together of playing together on the road. So I think it made the full length much better. So I think the last couple of years we’ve been becoming a band and now we’re at the starting line for what lies ahead.”
Wilson gives Mann and Carlile a lot of credit for giving the band a chance and taking them out on the road with them when they were virtual unknowns. And his brother Pete said Carlile and her band even played a big part in the making of the record, letting them raid their Maple Valley homes for equipment.
“I had shot Phil Hanseroth a text one day asking him if I could borrow a bass for the record,” Pete said. Phil was more than willing, as was Carlile and his brother Tim, who also plays in Brandi’s band.
“So I ended up going to Brandi’s house and Tim’s house and Phil’s house, we ended up borrowing like nine guitars and a few amps. And they were just like piling in all the stuff. It was insane. It definitely made the recording process a lot easier to use their rad old gear,” Pete said.
It’s hard to say if the equipment really made the difference, but whatever it was the “All The Times We Had” is getting rave reviews, and hopes are high as the band heads out on a North American tour. And the hope is it won’t take so long before they can make the next one.
Watch: Ivan & Alyosha live on Seattle Sounds:
Ivan and Alyosha play the Showbox at the Market Saturday Feb 23