Weekly Playlist: Allman Brown

Hong Kong-born, London-based artist Allman Brown looks to continue his ascension in the indie folk space and he’s set to release his sophomore album “Darling, It’ll Be Alright” on May 10th.

Taking cues from artists such as Bon Iver and The National, Allman Brown has a talent for captivating songwriting, finding power in anthemic choruses and gentle moments with soft-strummed guitar.

Produced and recorded with long time collaborator Ian Barter (Amy Winehouse, Paloma Faith) in January 2019 at his Reading-based home studio, Brown has taken the emphasis of his first record and built upon it with sheer gusto and aplomb.

Ahead of “Darling, It’ll Be Alright’s” release next week, listen to the latest album single “Home” and check out Brown’s playlist picks below. Brown celebrates the release of “Darling, It’ll Be Alright” next month in London on June 6th at The Borderline.

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper – Shallow
A Star Is Born absolutely blew me away on every level – the performances, the songs and the pure cinematic impact of both combined. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are just showing off at this point! I was completely inspired by this song and as soon as I got home I sat in the kitchen with my guitar and started writing. “Darling, It’ll Be Alright” is the song that came out of that.

Michael Kiwanuka – Cold Little Heart
The vibe on this album and this track are instantaneous and so enveloping. It felt like a message from the earth and sky, like everything around you was suddenly imbued with music. The whole record is so achingly atmospheric, my track “Shapes In The Sun” is directly influenced by it. I wanted to capture some of that atmosphere.

Coldplay – Fix You
People like to hate on Coldplay. I am not one of those people. “Fix You” is an all-timer for me and I never get tired of it. “Lonely Hearts, Los Angeles” is my “Fix You”. Start intimate and then go out with all guns blazing (sonically speaking). The pure emotion in this track is something I strive for in my songwriting, I don’t ever want to be afraid of putting my heart on my sleeve.

Leif Vollebekk – Elegy
This song is so simple and so good. I’m jealous of anyone who plays piano and “Elegy” made me really want to write a song on piano, just listening to it every night gave me confidence to try. You don’t have to be complicated to be amazing.

Dwayne Johnson – You’re Welcome
My daughter loves Moana, she loves it a lot. So I’ve heard this song about 7000 times and I never get bored of it. The lyrics and arrangement are just brilliant. It reminds me not to take the whole process of writing and recording too seriously and remember to always have fun. Also The Rock is the man. You’re welcome!

Brandi Carlile – Hold Out Your Hand
Everyone was banging on about how good this album was. I naturally had a cynical response to the ‘too much hype’ brigade. I’m so pleased that my snarky self was overcome and I took the time to listen to the record. It’s incredible, you can feel Brandi Carlile is the real deal, an artist who is fully in charge of her craft and what she wants to say. It’s hard to pick a favourite track but this just pipped the other contenders. This song rattles you bones! I tried to harness that and put it on my record.

Maggie Rogers – Light On
Maggie Rogers’ energy is utterly infectious. This song was on loop in my head from the second I heard it, I find myself humming it a lot. It also makes me dance (yes I am awesome at dancing).

Chris Stapleton – Parachute
I love the momentum of this song and that it just makes me feel like I need to be moving. It also reminds me to love America. I don’t like falling into the trap of bemoaning all the ills of the world, there are good and bad people everywhere and this song just reminds me of all the things I love about the USA. We need to focus on the positive these days and build on it.

Of Monsters And Men – Dirty Paws
Again, energy, energy, energy and positivity. I needed to get some of that on my record.

Feist – Past In Present
Feist is one of the greatest lyricists (and artists) ever for my money. I always listen to her for inspiration, her and Paul Simon. I hope that some of their talent nudges me in the direction of making good writing decisions. This song has one of the best lines ever – “So much past inside my present”. There are multitudes in that one line and it’s done with such elegance and simplicity. The slower and more intimate tracks on the record like “Hurting”, “Waiting For Something To Believe In” and “Natasha” owe a lot to Feist and her gift of combining naturalism with poetic flourish.

For more Allman Brown music, head over to Spotify.