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Up-and-Comers: Ivan & Alyosha

I’m just going to start with the punchline: I love Ivan & Alyosha, and I think you will, too.

Hailing from Seattle, this folk-pop band began as a two-piece in 2007 with Tim Wilson and Ryan Carbary, who drew their band moniker from characters in Tolstoy’s The Brothers Karamazov (already a cool move). Since then, they’ve grown into a four piece, opened for the likes of Brandi Carlile and The Low Anthem, been featured on NPR, and been a critical favorite at SXSW.

All with good reason. They don’t just sound good. They write spectacular songs.

Take, for example, the opening track on their debut full-length album All the Times We Had, released just this week. “Be Your Man” drew me in immediately, both with its catchy melody and hooky lyric: “I wanna be the man / To give you all the presents underneath your Christmas tree / They’re all from me.” When you consider these lyrics are carried by the effortless, Roy Orbison-esque voice of Tim Wilson…I just melt.

Song after song on the record is like that, from “Fathers Be Kind” (already a popular tune from an earlier EP) to “Running For Cover” to “The Fold” to “Don’t Wanna Die Anymore”…the list goes on. Hit after hit, in my opinion. Ear candy for everyone.

Indie acts naturally struggle to reach a wider audience, although acts like Bon Iver and The Lumineers have given us plenty of hope lately. But Ivan & Alyosha definitely deserves to be heard by that wider audience, and since they have one of the most appealing sounds I’ve heard from a folk-pop band in a long time, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we hear a lot more about this band in the days to come.



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About the Author


Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Kim Phelps found her inspiration and love for music listening to local bands play in the coffeehouses around town. She soon found her own voice as a singer-songwriter, and eventually began playing her own gigs in the coffee shops. Her personal influences include Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Ingrid Michaelson and Cat Power, but as an indie musician herself, she has an affinity for any band or artist who pursues creative freedom on the outskirts of the music industry. As our Indie correspondent, Kim makes a point of highlighting up-and-coming independent acts who are creating a buzz and building an audience. When she's not blogging for us or playing in the coffee shops, Kim works as a barista herself to help pay the bills. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Posted in: Featured, Indie/Alternative Music


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