11 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Seattle combo creates sparkling folk-rock that’s deceptively deep—belying the breezy, instantly accessible pop melodies and stunning vocal harmonies. Ivan & Alyosha get their name from characters in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and the band’s debut album follows the arc of a slowly unraveling relationship. There’s an inspiring simplicity that instils this Editors’ Choice with a sense of Americana optimism right from the jump (“Be Your Man,” “Fathers Be Kind”), eventually seguing into a stretch that addresses mortality and redemption (“Don’t Wanna Die Anymore” and blues-rock ballad “God or Men”). The Aimee Mann-assisted title track is a slow-burning heartbreaker about letting a friend go, while the cozy closer (“Who Are You”) is the album’s most rocking cut—with vocalist Tim Wilson delivering lyrics that tip-toe a line between existential and resentful (“Who are you when no one is around/no one in this world could bring you down”).

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Seattle combo creates sparkling folk-rock that’s deceptively deep—belying the breezy, instantly accessible pop melodies and stunning vocal harmonies. Ivan & Alyosha get their name from characters in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov and the band’s debut album follows the arc of a slowly unraveling relationship. There’s an inspiring simplicity that instils this Editors’ Choice with a sense of Americana optimism right from the jump (“Be Your Man,” “Fathers Be Kind”), eventually seguing into a stretch that addresses mortality and redemption (“Don’t Wanna Die Anymore” and blues-rock ballad “God or Men”). The Aimee Mann-assisted title track is a slow-burning heartbreaker about letting a friend go, while the cozy closer (“Who Are You”) is the album’s most rocking cut—with vocalist Tim Wilson delivering lyrics that tip-toe a line between existential and resentful (“Who are you when no one is around/no one in this world could bring you down”).

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3:30
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3:56
4:13
3:33
3:41
4:54
3:27
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4:08

About Ivan & Alyosha

Although based in Seattle, Ivan & Alyosha create a sound that’s distinctly Californian, with acoustic instrumentation and bright vocal harmonies that evoke the West Coast’s summery, Southern locales. The band formed in 2007, when solo songwriter Tim Wilson met Ryan Carbary. Taking their name from Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, the two began playing together, eventually traveling to Los Angeles to record a folk-pop EP with producer Eli Thompson.

The Verse, The Chorus was released in early 2009, paving the way for a healthy tour and a decent amount of national buzz, including a nod from NPR’s “All Songs Considered.” Things picked up again in early 2011, when the band -- now a four-piece featuring Wilson's brother, Pete Wilson, as well as Tim Kim -- released the sophomore EP Fathers Be Kind and launched another tour. An impressive full-length album, All the Times We Had, appeared from Dualtone Records in early 2013 in the U.S. and the following year on Decca Records in the U.K. After adding Cole Mauro to the lineup on drums, the quintet recorded their good-natured, indie pop sophomore LP, It's All Just Pretend, released in the spring of 2015. ~ Andrew Leahey

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