Photo credit: Jay Blakesberg
California rockers ALO have shared a track “Sparrow” out everywhere now ahead of the release of their ninth studio album, Silver Saturdays due out March 3, including a limited run of clear 180g vinyl, via Brushfire Records and available for pre-order now. All orders through this weekend will include an autographed four postcard set from the band. Get an exclusive look at the making of the forthcoming album as the band brings listeners behind the scenes here.
Alongside the track, the band shares an accompanying animated visual that becomes increasingly more detailed as it develops. Plus, ALO will hit the road this spring on the Tour d’Amour XVI around the Western U.S. with support from Rainbow Girls on several dates, and other dates featuring Hot ButteredRum, ORGŌNE, Ron Artis II and The Moore Brothers. Tickets are on sale now.
“Sparrow,” out today, celebrates the power music has to make one feel understood and its ability to carry one through a difficult time. Explaining the meaning behind the track, Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz shares, “Who amongst us has not been knocked to the floor, or lifted to the clouds by the power of a song that hit them at just the right moment in their life? ‘Sparrow’ is an ode to this goddess of music. She is not bound by time or space, and she always shows up right on time… but only if you let her.”
The latest visual sees the band reunite with animator and director Deren Ney (Tom Petty, Grace Potter, Marcus King) who was behind the previously released “Hot Damn” video. Ney explains, “Lebo had the idea of this amorphous, eternal power that can materialize as a sparrow, an arrow, or a musical goddess, but it’s always this propulsive energy that keeps moving forward and affecting things along the way.”
Adding more context behind the video, Ney adds, “The video is a creation myth for the record, starting at the inception of the universe — ‘A Brief History of Silver Saturdays.’ The animation design evolves along with the story, starting very minimalist and building until it’s a full-on cosmic freakout.”
The forthcoming album Silver Saturdays celebrates an ongoing journey that began in Saratoga, California in the late eighties when Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz (guitar/vocals), Zach Gill (keyboards/vocals) and SteveAdams (bass/vocals) met in grade school. It stands out as the first full-length studio release featuring drummer/vocalist Ezra Lipp—a fixture in the Northern California creative scene where he cut his teeth with the likes of Phil Lesh, Sean Hayes and countless others. Meanwhile, the title nods to the band’s recent penchant for silver attire at their Saturday shows, which became a costume theme amongst their fan base and an acknowledgment of their silver “25th” anniversary.
Today’s release follows the previously shared, irresistible “Hot Damn,” a feel-good track that alternates between moments of lush instrumentation, fluid fret-simmering guitar leads, and a hypnotic high register-inflected hook perfect to sing along to with the windows down (and funkified enough to move and groove to!). It highlights both their musical intricacies and downright undeniable knack for a chorus. Keyboardist and vocalist Zach Gill explains, “‘Hot Damn’ is the eureka moment, the soulful epiphany, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. As we behold our respective treasures, be they love, wisdom or an actual chest full of gold, we say to ourselves “Hot Damn!” Animator and director Deren Ney delivered a video to accompany the song’s release and adds, “The song explores the theme of digging around for the good stuff in life, so we reimagined the ALO origin story as a Goonies-style suburban adventure where the kids discover the greatest treasure of all: the power of rock and roll.”
Recorded at Sun Machine studio—nestled in the hills of northern Marin County, CA—the album is a fully collaborative effort written by the band and co-produced alongside longtime engineer David Simon Baker. For Gill, Lebo, Adams and Lipp the session was both a return to their roots and a new beginning – a chance to reconnect and immerse themselves in the creative process.
“There’s always a moment in the making of an ALO record when we ask ourselves, “Why make another record?” Gill reflects, “For me, the answer comes in waves over time. It has to do with the spirit of musical adventure and the rhythms of laughter. It’s about the sweet release of a Lebo guitar lead over an Ezra drum beat as Steve and I weave the bass and keys around each other. Call it a jam, call it a song, call it a feeling, but it has to do with connection. For me, it feels like coming home.”
Lebo adds, “It’s a palpable feeling when the four of us are in a room together creating music—having our individual sound waves collide as they transform and morph into one before even getting captured by the microphones. My hope for the listeners of ALO’s ‘Silver Saturdays’ is that they get to experience a bit of this invigorating feeling—and better yet, that it stirs up some inspiration of their own!”
The result is ten new original songs, recorded mostly live, that pay direct homage to the journey and the artistic process and further refine ALO’s singular and self-ascribed “jam-pop” genre—which Lebo fondly describes as “human music for humans.”
The sounds captured on Silver Saturdays are fresh and mercurial, but they are also fun, thoughtful, dreamy and articulate. All four members lend their distinctive lead and background vocals throughout. Their concise, meticulously-crafted songwriting and storytelling is interwoven with Lebo’s soaring, seemingly effortless leads as he draws impossible, ever-evolving tones from his signature acoustic-electric guitar. Gill’s tasty comping on keys and Adams’ bass groove perfection provide deep pockets sewn by a lifetime of mutual experience, and Lipp’s jam-informed rhythmic flourishes breathe new energy into the mix while also maintaining stylistic continuity with ALO’s earlier body of work.
Following the album’s arrival, the band dons their best silver and sets out on the Tour d’Amour XVI – to support the release and celebrate 25 years together – with good friends Rainbow Girls, Hot Buttered Rum, ORGŌNE, Ron Artis II and The Moore Brothers joining on various dates.
The Tour d’Amour XVI kicks off on March 10 & 11th with two consecutive dates at Crystal Bay Club in Crystal Bay, NV. The band will then make its way through California for six dates including Belly Up in Solana Beach and The Fillmore in San Francisco. At the end of March, the band will play Portland, OR’s Doug Fir and complete the tour in Seattle, WA on April 1st. Tickets are on sale now via alomusic.com/#tour.
“Sparrow,” and its accompanying visual, is out everywhere now, sees ALO embrace the power that music has to heal, uplift and propel one forward. Silver Saturdays, the ninth studio album from the band, is due out March 3, along with a limited run of clear 180g vinyl, and is available for pre-order now via Brushfire Records. All orders through this weekend will include an autographed four postcard set from the band. Watch the making of Silver Saturdays with an exclusive behind the scenes look here. Hear the new music and longtime fan favorites as ALO put on their best silver suits and celebrate 25 years on the Tour d’Amour XVI across the West Coast this spring with tickets on sale now. Find ALO on Instagram,Facebook, and YouTube to stay up-to-date with much more to come.
Silver Saturdays (LP) Tracklisting
01. Make It Back Home
04. Hot Damn
05. Keep On Giving Jane
06. Growing Your Hands Back
08. Rare Air
09. Divine Fall
10. Goodnight Song
ALO Live on Tour
Mar. 10 – Crystal Bay, NV – Crystal Bay Casino*
Mar. 11 – Crystal Bay, NV – Crystal Bay Casino**
Mar. 12 – Grass Valley, CA – Center For The Arts***
Mar. 15 – Carmel, CA – Folktake Winery #
Mar. 16 – Santa Barbara, CA – Soho #
Mar. 17 – Venice, CA – Venice West #
Mar. 18 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up #
Mar. 25 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore ##
Mar. 31 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir #
Apr. 01- Seattle, WA – Nectar Lounge #
*w/ Hot Buttered Rum
***w/ The Moore Brothers
#w/ Rainbow Girls
##w/ Ron Artis II
For more information on ALO, please visit: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube