US THE DUO Friday 23rd September 2016 at the Academy 2. Tickets €12.50 including booking fee go on sale Friday June 3rd at 9am from Ticketmaster. Doors 7.00pm, Over 18s – ID required.
With Us The Duo’s new album Just Love, recorded after two years of explosive social media fame, widespread press and TV attention, national touring, a major-label album, and recent self-declared independence, the husband-and-wife musical team of Michael and Carissa Alvarado find themselves — to borrow a lyric from one of their songs — right where they should be.
Just Love, the first album by the Southern California-based singing/song writing couple since 2014’s No Matter Where You Are, was recorded at The Smoakstack Studio in Nashville with co-producer Nathan Thomas. Just Love features 11 new original songs by the Alvarado’s. Their crisp, affecting pop delivers its intimate emotion in the same way that Us The Duo has always communicated with their fans: directly, and from the heart.
“That’s all we really know how to do,” Carissa says. “We’ve written so many songs about our relationship, and about love. On this album we write about the darker side of us, and things we’ve dealt with in the past. We hope that people feel the heart in our music.
The new release reflects the Alvarados’ roots as independent artists who grew an immense following by addressing their listeners on social media. Posting a series of six-second musical clips on the video-sharing site Vine to promote their self-produced debut album, the couple quickly amassed a rabid fan base that now totals 10 million devoted followers.
Their Internet fame led to conversations with Universal Republic Records that climaxed with the signing of a record deal. In rapid succession, their song “No Matter Where You Are” — a musical rendering of their wedding vows — was used in the 2014 animated feature The Book of Life; Oprah Winfrey, an avowed fan of the song and Us The Duo, took them on her 2014 “The Life You Want Weekend” national tour; Universal Republic released a full-length album; and the Alvarados received enthusiastic coverage in such press outlets as People, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, Variety, and the Hollywood Reporter. However, even as Us The Duo received a high-profile contract and the kind of attention every performer dreams of, they found their professional situation was pulling them away from their creative ideals and their musical origins, and they decided to exit their label deal.
Michael says, “When you’re young in music, you hear, ‘Are you signed yet? Do you want to be signed to a major label?’ That had always been ingrained in us as the ultimate goal, and we finally achieved that. And then we found that behind this curtain it was a little different than what we expected. For some artists, it’s a great thing, and for others it’s not a great fit. Having sprouted from social media, it wasn’t a great fit for us, but it took us two years to realize that. We kept trying, and it just didn’t work. The frustration of doing that every single day for two years took a toll on us.”