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ALL WE ARE — Sunny Hills (June 9th, 2017)

ALL WE ARE — Sunny Hills (June 9th, 2017)

 ALL WE ARE — Sunny Hills (June 9th, 2017) ALL WE ARE — Sunny Hills (June 9th, 2017)↑↓★↑↓     An unrelenting refusal to cow to expectation. Multi~national, chilled~out indie dance~pop from this Liverpool~based trio.
Editorial Reviews
★   Liverpool~based All We Are return with their second album Sunny Hills. Produced by Kwes (Solange, Kano, Loyle Carner), it follows the three~piece’s self~titled debut in 2015. Coming together while students in 2011, the trio is made up of Guro Gikling (Norway), Luis Santos from Brazil (guitars) and Richard O’Flynn from Ireland (drums). After spending much of 2015 touring and honing their sound the band started to write new material with a renewed sense of urgency and power, songs that documented the emotional rollercoaster the trio have been on in the past two years. ★   ~ Sunny Hills has a wobble to it, a human heartbeat and a grit that reflects the energy of the band’s thrilling live shows.
Location: Liverpool, UK
Styles: Indie Electronic, Indie Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock
Album release: June 9th, 2017
Record Label: Domino / Double Six
Duration:     40:07
Disc: 1
  1. Burn It All Out     5:32
  2. Human     3:52
  3. Animal     4:03
  4. Dance     3:11
  5. Down     3:05
Disc: 2
  1. Dreamer     6:00
  2. Youth     4:26
  3. Waiting     4:30
  4. Punch     5:28
★   All We Are Composer, Producer, Sleeve Photo
★   Jack E. Boucher Cover Photo
★   Matthew Cooper Design, Photography
★   Matt Coulton Mastering
★   Richard Formby Synthesizer
★   Guro Gikling Group Member
★   Dilip Harris Mixing
★   Rebecca Hawley Logo
★   Kwes. Mixing, Producer
★   Richard O’Flynn Group Member
★   Luis Santos Group Member
★   Paul J Street Design
★   Mike Watson Management
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger;  Score: ★★★½      
★   Over Sunny Hills, the sophomore LP from Norwegian~Brazilian~Irish~by~way~of~Liverpool indie pop trio All We Are. The pastel~hued dream pop and slick synth R&B of their 2015 debut have given way to a more cathartic post~punk sound that the band attributes to the underlying anxieties and general displacement of 2017’s social climate. Tapping into the global emotional zeitgeist, but reaching for a place of optimism, All We Are stretch out on opener “Burn It All Out,” a darkly grooving new wave opus urging listeners to stay steadfast and bust through the gloom with lines like “all your worries inside, all the panic within you, burn it all out, stop the cold dark tide.” The themes of breaking out and rising up continue on “Human” and “Animal,” a purgative yin~yang pair concerned with the deeply rooted conditions of being. While the amber glow of the band’s previous chillwave~oriented outing may have dimmed considerably, Sunny Hills is certainly not bereft of heart or emotion. Yes, All We Are feel measurably colder and angrier, but there is an obvious passion for life fueling their Motorik riffs and churning rhythms.    The spacy, bright grooves of stand~out cut “Dance” are at once buoyant and earthbound, anchored by the heaviness of bassist Guro Gikling and drummer Richard O’Flynn (who also share lead vocal duties throughout) while guitarist Luis Santos sends his weirdly shimmering riffs skyward. At times, the band’s obvious affection for moody, Joy Division~esque post~punk feels a little too heavy~handed, but amid their ongoing sonic evolution there’s some solid songwriting.
Stephen Ackroyd, Score: ★★★★
★   With their second album, All We Are are determined to be themselves. A multinational coalition (Norwegian, Brazilian and Irish, in case you were wondering) founded in a Liverpudlian melting pot, there’s a radical steel running up the backbone of ‘Sunny Hills’.
★   It’s not one that sees the three~piece pushing musical boundaries; instead, it’s an unrelenting refusal to cow to expectation. Produced by Kwes (Solange, Kano, Loyle Carner), they’ve taken the indie rock, post~punk template and toughened it up, ready to roll with the punches.
★   ‘Human’, for example, is part Joy Division, part Savages. A biting but soaring statement, it’s both immediate and deep in the same breath. “I don’t even know what’s fake anymore,” Guro Gikling exasperates, hitting marks both current and timeless. The product of its surroundings, it’s a powerful statement. Switched on, charged up, if this really is All We Are, it’s more than enough. ★   https://www.readdork.com/

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