Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Robin Allender

Foxes in the Foyer (LP)

Clear Vinyl | 350 hand numbered copies | first 65 sleeves printed on soft heavyweight paper blind embossed

Circular melodies adorned with simple samples and loops. Its charm makes a lot of sense given that Allender plays in film composer Yann Tiersen's live band - Lars Gotrich NPR

Music of heart and humanity, as fresh (and refreshing) as a spring lake. - Textura

Robin Allender certainly has prowess on his instrument but I found myself drawn to the more woe-some and winsome tracks that inter-weave amongst the track order, culminating with the prettiest song I have heard in a while. In fact, were there a Buddha Box with only the final track “An Uneven Lie” I probably would never leave the house again. - Field Hymns

You become immediately enamored with Robin's sincere approach to composition. I personally love when an artist doesn't shy away from just simply writing a beautiful song with no pretentious tricks for validation. Unhurried interlocking patterns comprise these instrumental guitar pieces featuring acoustic and electric guitar, sparse rhythmic accompaniment, banjo, piano... Tracks like 'M. Laurelle' are trance inducing with a beautiful hypnotic-circling guitar line that brings to mind artists like Ali Farka Toure or Jozef Van Wissem. That being said it would be doing a disservice to classify Robin's approach to mood. 
"Foxes in the Foyer" seems to be a record about place, and brings to mind the openness of the english landscape where Robin hails. Ambient brilliance drifts in on 'Esplanade' while pedal steel guitar accompanies the albums beautiful closer "An Uneven Lie".  Robin proves to be a unique craftsman and no surprise that he is the right hand man to many notable songwriters.

In 2007, Robin joined Warp Records’ Gravenhurst and toured extensively, supporting Animal Collective, Explosions in the Sky and Grizzly Bear.  Around this time, Robin formed The Allender Band to accompany him live and in the studio. Through Dreamboat the band released an EP, "In the Grip of Light", and an album, "Outer Dark", tracks from which were featured on BBC Radio 2 and 6Music by Mark Radcliffe, Gideon Coe and Steve Lamacq.

In 2009, Robin joined the touring band of Yann Tiersen, a band he continues to play in. Promoting Yann’s albums "Dust Lane" and "Skyline", the band has toured Europe, Russia, China, Australia, South America and the US.

In 2012, Robin released the "Spirit’s Sleep" EP under his own name. The EP was a continuation of Robin’s work with The Allender Band, but also showed the influence of James Blackshaw, Mark Kozelek and (naturally) Yann Tiersen.Robin also plays guitar with Felix (Kranky) and bass with The Revival Hour (featuring DM Stith and members of The Earlies) and Azalea City.