No Aloha – ‘Okay Alone’

Jeff Cubbison

Dreamy Portland garage pop trio “dive right in” on lush debut LP

Portland DIY band No Aloha churn out infectiously melodic garage pop tunes with dashes of lo-fi dreaminess and atmospheric electronic textures. Their newest single “My Darling” is an absolutely lush blend of dream-pop and indie rock: soaring melodies, bendy synths, swelling guitar noise, driving basslines, and a searing, anthemic chorus. Most impressively, all the track’s wonderful instrumental quirks eventually coalesce and crescendo beautifully. It’s one of the best tracks of the year so far. And today, the rising trio releases their debut album Okay Alone, and it’s packed with catchy hooks, crafty instrumentation, and poignant moods.

Opening track “In Your Car” is a bright indie pop jam that slowly unfolds with jangly guitar riffs and bouncey synth notes. It simmers ahead with a playful, wide-eyed aura, as frontwoman Brette Irish’s sweet croon hovers over the impeccable melodies. Meanwhile, “The Big One” contains fuzzy lo-fi dissonance in its chords, capturing a flowing, effervescent production quality that carries into the track’s pensive, wondrous vibes: “Do you really love me?/ And do you really care?/ When it all comes down/ When the waves come crashing in/ Will You be around?/ Will this be the end?” Irish wonders, full of melancholy and longing.

After that, the album takes us to the smoldering, shimmering slow-jam “Green,” which combines airy guitar strums and quietly rumbling bass with Irish’s soothing heart-on-your-sleeve vocals, hitting you with a maximum dose of the feels. From there, the album oscillates neatly between shreddy rock tracks (“Fall Away”), fuzzy electronic-tinged ballads (“Break My Heart”), and dreamy mid tempo indie-pop (“Dreams,” “Spacey Low”) . For No Aloha, Okay Alone is a bold and lush debut that perfectly blends garage rock and dream-pop stylings, and runs the full gamut of emotions. It’s out now via Good Cheer Records, and you can buy it HERE and preview it below via Bandcamp. Also, No Aloha are performing an album release show tonight in Salem. You can get tickets and more info HERE.

 

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