“Ignorance is Bliss:” Cooked to Perfection

Indie Pop Rock Group ‘al-dente’ Strives for Hearty Textures on its Sophomore Album

Photo courtesy of al-dente

Pacific Northwest band al-dente seeks to confront the great unknown and dares it to shout back on their sophomore album, “Ignorance is Bliss,” released August 21, 2021.

Formerly known as “Before Our Time,” the five-piece band has returned from a three-year hiatus with a new name and lease on life. Their debut album, “Sutton Place,” released in December 2017, provided the launch pad needed to test the waters and embrace bold, new flavors.

In just under 50 minutes, “Ignorance is Bliss” navigates the peaks and valleys of the human condition, the solemn and surreal, with the tuned ear and synergy of seasoned collaborators. From spunky bravado to wistful tunes made for staring out a rain-streaked window, al-dente scales its range and composition to fit different shades across 11 tidy songs.

Its title track, “Ignorance is Bliss,” grapples with questions of love and loss on plaintive keys, straddling the tension between past and present, and refuses defeat with trumpet chiming in to signal redemption. Lead vocalist Alex Thoman floats through each verse with lyrics that swell and pierce the void all at once, in search of the answers that evade us.

With earnest heart and playful spirit, al-dente crafts melodies in “Ignite” that channel righteous rock anthems with the electricity of a raucous church choir, while “Better on My Own” captures the bright tones and tangy guitar riffs of surf rock sunshine.

Photo courtesy of al-dente

Both an inspirational rallying cry and meditation on the contours and complications of life, al-dente has bubbled up something fresh, yet familiar on “Ignorance is Bliss,” reimagining the sonic flair of Cage the Elephant, (drawing both musical and design inspiration from the album “Melophobia”) Dr. Dog, The Beatles, and Death Cab for Cutie.

Eyes set on the horizon, al-dente has stepped up to the plate with something to prove, penning a comeback story that will keep ears peeled for more beats cooking in their kitchen.

Listen to “Ignorance is Bliss” wherever music is streaming. Check out the album in sky blue vinyl and browse other merch on al-dente’s ecommerce site. Follow al-dente on social @aldentetunes to catch updates, upcoming concerts and behind-the-scenes shenanigans.

she/her journalist, visual storyteller, Succession HBO fanatic, classically trained badass | skadaddle.com