If rock, pop, and folk were three different overlapping circles (like this), the genre of DieAlps!’s “Our City” would be consistently shifting between them. It’s certainly not a linear progression, but it’s not a continuous blend of genres, either. No matter the sound at any given point, however, it’s obvious that it’s the same band. The changes are smooth and natural, and every song is easy to listen to, despite being intricately woven.
One thing that aids in this constant shift is the two alternating vocalists, which are similar enough in style to keep the album from being all over the place but provide enough diversity to keep it interesting. They don’t stop trading leads and providing harmonies, adding to the overall waves of sound that this album seems to move in.
Other than the shifts in genre and vocalist, DieAlps! has a classic indie sound: full, bright, and rich, with clear, candy-colored guitar tones that are typical of indie rock. Frantic, thrilling guitar chords are layered over smooth picking, and instead of clashing energies, it falls together to form an intricate picture.
Vocals, sometimes smooth and other times passionate, subtly shift the tone of the album from melancholy to shiny and happy. Pretty lyrics accent these changes, like the opening lines of “Hands Up”, a love song – “You are such a force/and I will always be yours” – compared to lyrics from the bittersweet opening track, “Running Into Walls” – “My friends, where are you now?/now that I’m lonely and old”.
“Mayfly” represents “Our City” well: it begins sounding folky and builds throughout, and before you know it, the song closes out with classic rock-sounding guitar. Everything, both within the album and the song, comes in gentle, lapping ripples of music.
Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of music lately that I haven’t enjoyed. It’s felt cliché and overdone, but one thing that I love about this DieAlps! album is that although it’s a classic indie pop-rock sound, it’s constantly shifting and never reaches a musical stasis. It’s impossible to get bored when the band never stops moving, and when that combines with a smooth, easy sound, “Our City” is helping me close out the summer in the best possible way.
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Originally published on Indientry on August 13, 2017.