Stereotypically, the Warped Tour scene is often dismissed as little more than endless waves of pop punk and metalcore clones. Every so often though, a gem emerges, a diamond in the rough that stands out thanks to their originality and heaps of talent. John-Allison Weiss is one such gem.
Sonically, the New York singer-songwriter can be placed in the same ballpark as acts like Candy Hearts and The Front Bottoms – twee, heartfelt indie-rock bursting with passion and emotion. On new album ‘New Love’ though, they’re well and truly outdone themselves, with eleven sparkling, immaculately-crafted pop songs.
The likes of ‘Golden Coast’ and ‘Back To Me’ breeze by like Blondie in their prime brought into the 21st century with their buzzing synths and new wave beds, while the unashamedly upbeat ‘Motorbike’ chronicles youthful tribulations in what would have been a bona fide summer smash had it been released a few months earlier. Weiss adopts a telling but phenomenally likeable persona throughout, with the bittersweet honesty of ‘Over You’ and the title track wrapped in melodies so glorious they could be considered throwaway.
It’s not really an album for fans of variety – most of the tracks (except the semi-brooding opener ‘The Sound’ and acoustic-led closer ‘The Same’) are crafted from the same skeleton of swathes of chiming synths, synthetic drumbeats and Weiss’ sugary vocals, and it does begin to wear thin before long. Regardless, ‘New Love’ is a consistently strong collection of songs, and of a quality far high enough to be able to bypass this minor gripe.
Other than that, there’s hardly anything to complain about. Weiss has almost effortlessly crafted a clutch of songs that are as enamouring as they are relaxing, as is destined to be the soundtrack to many summer romances to come. It’ll probably get unfairly overlooked, but it’s a truly lovely album that deserves every bit of praise it receives.
‘New Love’ by John-Allison Weiss is released on 2nd October on SideOneDummy.
Words by Luke Nuttall(@nuttall_luke)