Hong Kong-born folk artist Allman Brown returned to the city in March, performing at MOM Livehouse with a set full of new songs from his second album, Darling, It Will Be Alright. The album was released earlier this month, and is a natural progression from 2017’s 1,000 Years.
The singer-songwriter has filled the album with spine-tingling instrumentals, from the warm, rich acoustic picking of opener Home through to piano ballad closer Natasha.
The real gems here are Bury My Heart and lead single Shapes In The Sun, with the latter being driven by a thumping drum, breathy choral stabs and a low, baritone guitar riff. Brown’s bellowing echoes the timbre and register of a Noel Gallagher anthem, while Dust & Heat has a similar musical leaning.
Crazy Love almost feels like an ode to Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You, with its pop-centric guise and token melodic “woah” singalongs.
The most notable and obvious comparison, though, would be to Ben Howard. Folksy guitar picking is consistent throughout, as are the shouted background harmonies in Hurting, which create the same hazy feel as any of Howard’s releases.
Even if some of the latter songs are a bit unvaried, Brown has a way of tugging on the heartstrings while reminding us at the same time that we’ll be all right.