Aloha‘s Home Acres left a strong mark back in 2010. I still remember how one of the coldest winters felt a little less bitter with the peppiness of their music, especially the frantic urgency of ‘Moonless March’.
Now, a good six years gone, and Little Windows Cut Right Through arrives. Now, that fidgety punch, dramatic in its nature, seems a subtle one. With a minty fresh approach, Aloha take a cue from fellow label mates Pillar Point and Painted Palms, diving into a poppier, electronic heavy river.
The results are good. From ‘Signal Drift’, the opening track, to ‘I heard you laughing’, the peppy closer, Aloha relish on an easier pace. Life is so fleeting, might as well take it easy and swim with the rip tides, not against them.
One does wonder, why 6 years to make an album? When you listen a gem like ‘Moon Man’, you understand it. Holding the hands of 80s pop with a fresh spin, ‘Moon Man’ is on fire. Every single instrument, held up high, never interrupting the other, always blending deftly with the others. The song is very rewarding too. The last part is a long instrumental that cascades until an emotional waterfall bids you adieu.
Tony Cavallario‘s approach to lyrics, it seems, is about splintering himself into a million pieces and letting them sprinkle over the songs. Mix that with the careful arrangements of wind-up toys and music boxes and you get enough familiar Aloha spices to complement the meal. It’s a new dish, but still made with the truest of feelings.
Heck, I’m all for bands trying new sounds, it’s the only way to avoid stagnation. Besides, when you get a song as beautiful as ‘Marigold’, any experimentation (and the long time involved) is more than justified. ‘Marigold’ has an exquisite arrangement of sounds, with Cale Parks‘ gorgeous drumming taking the reigns here. Just when you think there’s a groove to stick to, Parks changes the flow. Beautiful stuff.
Back in 2010, I nominated Aloha as one of the “Underdogs of 2010.” I think Little Windows Cut Right Through will go the same way. It’s a fine drink that has rich texture, a memorable flavour and the right amount of alcohol to ease the worries just enough to get through the day.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López