Ivan & Alyosha "It's All Just Pretend"

Rock, pop, and roots merge to create an introspective look at relationships in a fast moving world.

Indie folk may have been the springboard for Ivan & Alyosha’s debut album, but their sophomore release finds them splashing into the deep end of the indie rock pool.  The band has expanded from a four to five-piece group, bringing a fuller sound. With newer members contributing to the writing process the songs benefit from fresh musical perspectives. Lyrically the band sticks to its tried and true themes of faith, particularly how it relates to human relationships, both familial and romantic.

Tim Wilson and Ryan Carbary, the original Ivan & Alyosha members, continue to anchor the band. Pete Wilson, Tim’s brother, plays bass and contributes to songwriting. Tim Kim contributes guitar and Cole Mauro takes on drum duties.

Joe Chicarelli produces with lots of effects and reverb. His focus is on pulling out more pop sheen – “Modern Man” - and driving rock – “Something is Wrong” - from the band’s songs. The band’s rootsy elements surface, as on the title track ,“Oh This Love,” and the lovely “Drifting Away.” “Tears in Your Eyes,” a bittersweet piano ballad, reveals another aspect of the band with its Billy Joel-like sound.

The band took its time in writing and recording It’s All Just Pretend traveling from its home base Seattle to Oklahoma and Los Angeles. The extra attention shows in the well-crafted lyrics and cleverly constructed songs. It makes sense that so many of these compositions focus on the lack of focus, on community, on family, on taking the time to create something lasting. Clearly, Ivan and Alyosha have created something lasting with this album.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix)