Way back in 2008, Ivan & Alyosha started as an indie duo comprised of Tim Wilson and Ryan Carbary. The Seattle twosome put out a pair of promising EPs before expanding to a quartet and knocking it out of the park on 2013 full-length debut “All the Times We Had.” That record proved to be one of my favorites of the year and I was thrilled when latest slab “It’s All Just Pretend” came across my desk several weeks back.
Ivan & Aloysha — Wilson and Carbary named the band after characters in Dostoyevsky’s bleak masterpiece “The Brothers Karamazov — have expanded to a quintet here and the fuller sound serves them well on the new record. Filled with the type of sunny melodies we’ve come to expect from I&A, the 11-track, 41-minute platter makes for an enjoyable listen.
Things get off to a fast start with “Something Is Wrong” and “All This Wandering Around,” and Ivan & Alyosha later soar on standouts like the title track, “”Come Rain, Come Shine,” “Modern Man,” “Let Me Go East” and “Don’t Lose Your Love.” This is one of those bands that make me feel better every time I hear them. Why not let their feel-good magic weave its spell on you, too? (Jeffrey Sisk)