Oh Oblivion :
A singer finds his way amidst clouds of swirling cellos in these songs of foggy introspection.
J. Allen’s latest compositions seemed to call out for the cello..
When he finished, there would be 16 tracks of the instrument on each of these songs..
played with a sort of blind intuition,
leaving behind the pedal steel and acoustic guitar textures of his previous record.
As the chorus of cellos wove into the mix, the songs began to swing and sway..
the focus became deeply blurred,
as wide as a wide angle could be..
and then sharpened ,
as if to show the singer the way.
‘Worry Not’, J. Allen’s heartfelt, folksy debut record with Altco Recordings marks a turn from the atmospheric, indie-folk aesthetic of his previous work to a more traditional American palette. It also welcomes a renewed collaboration with Alan Weatherhead (Magnolia Electric Company, Sparklehorse) as mixer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist.. The modern-country track ‘Fall Out of Love‘ has recently been featured on the latest Birdstone Records compilation (DE) . American and Canadian shows continue this year, as well as video launches via Record NY.
‘What one hears are his earnest, strained vocals along with sometimes delicate, sometimes thrashed acoustic guitar with occasional percussion and pedal steel.’ – Americana UK ‘
In early 2010, finding himself newly unsigned, he began recording and arranging what would become his first ever solo release,‘Wonder City’. The atmospheric and introspective LP is a true ‘solo’ record on which he writes, plays, and sings all of the parts himself.. except for the street noise and subway rumble, which he captured ‘on location’ with film production mics and portable recording equipment. In an affecting combination of sound design and intimate performance each track blends together recordings from different sonic spaces, resulting in a cinematic landscape of a song. A verse might take place on a rainy street…a chorus in a quiet bedroom.
‘Wonder City’ was officially released in Europe and the UK in September 2012 bringing rave reviews from the indie press and sending Allen on his most expansive tour to date including stops at The Reeperbahn Festival, NXNE, and Rural Indie Camp. American and Canadian shows followed, as did a series of singles and video releases for ‘O My Love’, ‘Afterglow’, and ‘Other Side of the Day’.