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The Alialujah Choir

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Editors’ Notes

Made up of Adam Shearer (from the band Weinland), Adam Selzer (M. Ward, Norfolk & Western), and Alia Farah (Tequila), the Portland super-trio The Alialujah Choir creates intimate harmonies overflowing with beauty. Its eponymous 2012 debut opens with “Laundry Song,” a quiet, Americana-flavored folk tune with soft three-part harmonies sung over banjo, piano, harmonica, and percussion. Shearer inflects like Will Oldham on the following “Bones Crackin’ In,” where his bandmates’ flawless vocal congruency almost sounds like a church choir behind him. “Looking for a Gesture” picks up the pace as the threesome’s voices fall somewhere between Crosby, Stills & Nash and Peter, Paul & Mary. But keep in mind that there’s a distinct difference between sounding retro and timeless—and these tunes befit the latter. Upon first listen, it might seem that the heavenly harmonies should take center stage. But as these tunes work their wintry magic on you, it’ll become evident that everything that’s lovely here orbits around the well-crafted songs.

Customer Reviews


The album echos the sincerity of the the band’s origin. Shearer, Selzer and Farah began writing and recording songs at Portland’s Type Foundry with no commercial ambitions. They simply wanted to take shelter from the chaos of touring and make music together. Ensconced by friendship and solitude, the trio’s shared sensibility to embrace their love for roots folk music has created a beautiful and compelling album.

The flowing harmonies of Shearer, Selzer and Farah elevate melody to a suspended state. It is the result of how the shape, range and movement of their voices compli- ment each other. That dynamic shines bright on every track. On songs like ‘A House a Home’, ‘I Swear I Saw You’ and ‘Closer Than I Should’, the band creates rich layers of sound with sparse instrumentation. The capacity to actualize such lush, voluminous, sound can likely be traced to Selzer’s skill as a producer and sound engineer. At Type Foundry he has recorded The Decemberists, M. Ward, Peter Broderick, Laura Gibson, Minus 5, Dirty Projectors, Blind Pilot, Jolie Holland, Herman Dune... the list goes on and on and now includes Alialujah Choir.

It is refreshing to hear an album that has no trace of affectation or a single moment of self-indulgence. A passion for music and making music is the motive behind Alialujah Choir’s debut. When commercial ambitions are shelved it is amazing what can happen in a studio. Shearer, Selzer and Farah achieve songs that brim with humanity and an openness that may have closed had their ambitions been anything other than the joy of writing and creating beautiful music.

Pretty and subtle.

Loving "A House, A House" the best!

a nation-state

such a pretty album! my introduction to the Alialujah Choir was at a Portland Cello Project holiday show last December. this unassuming trio came onto the stage and captivated the crowd with its beautiful harmonies and lovely lyrics. I bought the album at the merch table and listened to it multiple times on a road trip a few days later. the songs and the voices are beautiful and as a bonus, they keep road rage at bay! check out this album, if you have any taste at all you'll like it

The Alialujah Choir, Alialujah Choir
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Singer/Songwriter, Music
  • Released: Feb 14, 2012

Customer Ratings