On its new record, indie-folk band Arlo Aldo delves into life’s big mysteries | Local Beat | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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On its new record, indie-folk band Arlo Aldo delves into life’s big mysteries

“You have to really love and cherish what you’re losing.”

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“In order for loss or death or a separation to have any kind of importance, you have to love it,” Arlo Aldo’s David Manchester says, his insouciance giving way to a wistful tone and a fierce gaze. “You have to really love and cherish what you’re losing.” House and Home, the local alt-folk group’s follow up to 2013’s Zelie, explores the sentimentality of love and loss while embracing deeper musical textures as a five-piece band.

Arlo Aldo (David Manchester, left) - PHOTO BY SARAH WILSON
  • Photo by Sarah Wilson
  • Arlo Aldo (David Manchester, left)

Arlo Aldo began when frontman Manchester and organist Ariel Nieland-Forbes found each other on Craigslist, where they were the only two non-metal musicians looking to form a band. Nieland-Forbes brought in (now husband) Brandon Forbes on drums, and the three went into the studio to record Zelie. Quickly realizing they needed a bass player, Susanna Meyer (ex-Boca Chica) joined the group, followed by Jessica Hoffman, who came on board to play viola for the recording of House and Home. That record will be released on local label Future Oak Record Co. on Feb. 26.

Befitting Manchester’s hauntingly romantic style, the band’s name itself is a nod to birth and death. Manchester wanted to name his son Arlo — an idea that was quickly shut down. It stuck with him, though. He also knew of an Italian architect, Aldo Rossi, who was known for his philosophy of designing cemeteries as a meeting place for the dead: a community of those who have passed. “So this idea of Arlo being tied with birth and Aldo being tied to cherishing death,” Manchester says, “it’s sort of a weird juxtaposition that just fit.” 

Arlo Aldo has found a home not only with Future Oak Record Co., but also at J. Vega’s Wilderness Recording Studio, where the members recorded Zelie, the three-song EP Spin the Twine and House and Home

“A house and a home are very different things,” says Manchester. “Having a house is just where you keep things, it’s where you sleep. It’s where you eat. But having a home, that’s where you put down roots, somewhere that has meaning, importance, memories.”


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