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Single Review: Alessi – Wives

 
By on Thursday, 15th December 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Alessi Laurent-Marke, formerly known as Alessi’s Ark, has shortened her stage moniker to simply Alessi, ahead of a new album release scheduled for early next year. The new album’s current single ‘Wives’ is musically a step forward from Laurent-Marke’s previous quirky-but-cute brand of folk pop, but its feminist theme is a recurring one for Alessi, whose past songs about strong women have included ‘Wire’ from her 2011 album ‘Time Travel’ and ‘Veins Are Blue’ from 2013’s ‘The Still Life’.

In the press release for ‘Wives’, Alessi describes the new track as “a meditation on womanhood and the powerful roles, responsibilities and loving duties all women strive to fulfill in their lifetimes. [It was] inspired by women in my own family, in my close circle of friends and in the widely woven feminine collective.” She continues: “The idea of being someone’s wife inspires me to no end. Recently I’ve come to believe that to be married to oneself, to be committed to nurturing our own spirits, will give us the best chance at growing truly loving relationships with our partners.” This last idea is also, perhaps, an insight into Alessi’s newfound professional individualism.

The Luke Barham-directed video for ‘Wives’ is set in 1949, immediately post-World War II. It finds Alessi alternately narrating and portraying a fictional woman waiting for her soldier husband to come home from battle. Armed with a Ouija board, a crystal ball and a stiff drink, the wife sorts through her husband’s letters and belongings, trying to find a ray of hope. Alessi’s voice conveys a combination of desperation and stoicism as she conjures her character’s stark reality: “Her weathered skin is whiter now / to their four doves, she reads aloud in their room . . . Dad’s not been home for a few weeks now / he doesn’t bring in the paper, so the dog’s learnt how”.

Alessi’s further lyrical reflection imagines the hardships of “a fisherman’s wife / waving him off into the night” and the stresses faced by the wife of a porter: “she made him a back brace, just in case . . . she prays it works / she is pregnant again.” Her final lines bring the song around to a poignant first person perspective: “I could never have thought I would be your wife / but here I am, you are the love of my life / here I am, I am the love of your life”.

Alessi’s musical arrangement is in a similar vein as her previous guitar-based alt-folk, but in place of her light folky bounce and self-deprecatingly ironic tone, ‘Wives’ has an air of austerity, a strikingly unadorned sense of realism. Ultimately, ‘Wives’ suggests that the music on Alessi’s forthcoming new LP was composed by a songwriter whose message is clear and whose primary intent is to be taken seriously.

9/10

‘Wives’, Alessi’s first single under her newly shortened stage name, is due out on the 13th of January 2017 via indie label Super Fan 99. TGTF’s coverage of her previous project, Alessi’s Ark, is right back here.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/QCq6ZftQ228[/youtube]

 

Bands to Watch #57 – Alessi’s Ark

 
By on Monday, 22nd December 2008 at 5:47 pm
 

Alessi's ArkMySpace has become astonishingly famous for its music scene and it has given us many great acts. Another one of those acts is Alessi’s Ark who promises to be a fantastic prospect for 2009.  Alessi Laurent-Marke is the singer/guitarist behind the music sensation and she has already been tipped to be the next Laura Marling without even releasing a single.

Her first single “The Horse” is now out and it is a favourite to take the charts by storm. Her first ever song though “Glendora” started off as a GCSE music project and it easily deserves an A*. Influences like Arcade Fire are at times evident in Alessi’s work but it is simply unique. It is important to remember that this music genius is just 18. Psychedelic folk music is one way to describe her music but it still doesn’t seem to quite sum it up.

The sheer variety and talent that Alessi already has is incredible. Her first album is set to be a big hit and should see her break through with ease but we could be looking at a star for the future as it seems that she is far from a one album wonder. Her vocals are superbly in tune and plenty of character also comes through but it is also great to see some elaborate guitar work as well. Alessi is simply one of a kind and if you think you have already heard the best pop/folk sensation then think again.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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