Ala.ni Continues Her Success On Her Sophomore Album, ‘ACCA’

Courtesy: Missing Piece Group

More than two-and-a-half years ago, up-and-coming singer-songwriter Ala.ni became a darling in the music world thanks to her debut album You & I.  That is because the album was, at the time, unlike anything else within the jazz and overall music worlds.  She clearly is not one to rest easy on her laurels as her sophomore album ACCA proves.  Released Jan. 24, the 11-song LP is, like its predecessor, completely unlike anything out there today.  This record is not only distinctly different from anything else out there today, but also from her own debut record, both musically and lyrically.  ‘Hide’ is just one of the songs featured in the record that serves to support the noted statements.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘ShaLala’ is another prime example of how much this new offering from Ala.ni stands out, and will be discussed a little later.   ‘Away GO’ is yet another example of what makes the album stand out so starkly in the best way possible.  It certainly is not the last of the album’s notable works.  The clear sociopolitical message and infectious arrangement in ‘Le Diplomate,’ the r&B-infused ‘VanP’ and its relationship-centered lyrical theme, and the absolutely stunning and simple choral approach of ‘In The Land’ add their own impact to the album, as do the record’s other works.  The whole of the LP’s works is a presentation that is without argument, one of this year’s most unique and enjoyable records.

Ala.ni’s sophomore album ACCA is a step in the right direction for the up-and-coming singer-songwriter.  It shows that this young woman is a truly talented artist.  That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content from start to end.  ‘Hide’ is an early example of what makes this new offering from Ala.ni stand out in this year’s field of new albums.  Much as with most of the album’s other songs, this song’s musical arrangement is almost entirely acoustic, if not entirely acoustic.  If there are any electronic elements here, they are so subtle that it is next to impossible to place them.  The subtlety in the use of the standing bass and the a capella vocal approach is so simple, yet so engaging even in that simplicity.  The arrangement gains even more importance when one considers the song’s lyrical content.

Ala.ni sings in the song’s lead verse, “You can’t forget all of love’s borders/You can’t forget all that you see/in spite of everything/You’re suffering the best of me/And I’ll forgive you for the moment/Because you brightened the day/Tomorrow we shall see/Could be something saddening instead/Love missed its start/And I know why/’Cause when it’s really true/You don’t have to hide.”  She continues in the song’s second verse, “And then apart from everything that we’ve been through/It’s suddenly brighter than light/I can’t believe the time/I wasted with you on my mind/And so I put pen to paper/In silence I want to speak/There’s nothing you can bring/That’s worth considering to stay.”  As she reaches that final word, listeners hear what is supposed to be her walking out a door and heading out into the world on her own, humming and singing happily and so lightly.  What’s so interesting about all of this is that looking at these lyrics, one would imagine they would be complimented with a certain either fiery Taylor Swift-esque arrangement or one of those equally standard oh-woe-is-me type arrangements that are so common in mainstream music.  She didn’t go either route here.  Rather, there is a certain sarcasm in her delivery here, along with just as much self-confidence.  That gentle arrangement delivers the feeling that she has surpassed all the negative feelings, and is completely at one with herself.  It really is such a unique stance that is rarely if ever heard in mainstream songs about broken relationships, which themselves are so overly commonplace in said realm.  To that end, the approach here, both musically and lyrically make this song stand out so proudly.  It makes the song one of the album’s most memorable moments.  Adding even more interest here is the fact that the manner in which the song has been presented, it sounds like it would be a perfect fit for a modern stage musical.  That is a compliment in and of itself.  Keeping all of this in mind, ‘Hide’ proves to be just one of the works that makes ACCA such a notable new offering from Ala.ni.

Another of the most notable moments featured in the ACCA comes almost halfway through the record’s 28-minute (yes, an album that doesn’t even reach half an hour) run time in the form of ‘ShaLala.’  As is the case with ‘Hide,’ the arrangement at the center of ‘ShaLala’ is a full-on acoustic presentation.  The combination of Ala.ni’s vocals and those of her fellow vocalists conjures thoughts of those a capella performances from Fox’s series Glee, only better.  Yes, this critic went there.  The whole of the light, “bouncy” vocal performances is an infectious performance that is certain to stick in listeners’ minds and ears in its own right.

The light, infectious arrangement is important to note because, as with ‘Hide,’ it doesn’t necessarily seem to go in line with the song’s lyrical content, yet actually does in a weird way.  Once again, Ala.ni goes the rather sarcastic route.  In fact, one could actually argue here that there is a comparison to Taylor Swift.  That is the case as Ala.ni sings in the song’s lead verse, “When you told me the other day/That you wanted to come back to stay/It soothed me/You words/They soothed me, baby/Then I heard from one of your guys/All you told me really was a lie/It hurt me/Darling you hurt me/Hurt me/Sha la la/Won’t help me baby/Sha la la/Sounds lonely, baby/It’s awfully empty with you gone, baby/Someone to hug and trust/But I will never, ever forget your love/My young love, baby.”  Rather than pouting and feeling sorry for herself, the song’s subject instead is essentially bidding that bad person a not so fond farewell.  This is very much in line with Swift’s approach, so to that end, at least that comparison can be made, even though Ala.ni still presents something very unique here.  Ala.ni continues in the song’s second verse, “You said right from the start/That you’d never break my heart/Well you’ve broke me/My word/You’ve choked me/And now I know that you’ve departed/If I see you at a party/Just dance with me/Say you’ll still dance with me.”  Again, the song’s subject here doesn’t seem to necessarily be pining for that lost love.  She seems, almost, to be somewhat okay with what happened and has come to terms with the situation.  That is, again, much like the case in ‘Hide.’  It serves to show that break ups are not all bad, and that they are survivable.  It’s just one more way in which this record proves so enjoyable.  Both musically and lyrically, Ala.ni has taken the proverbial path less traveled, and has succeeded as a result of that decision.  This is just one more way in which this statement is proven.  ‘Away GO’ is one more example of the album’s strength.

‘Away GO’ stands out because, just as with ‘Hide,’ it comes across like something that fits in a stage musical.  The difference is that because of the classical approach, it sounds like it would be a perfect fit to some classical stage musical, what with its full on a capella approach.  Between her own vocal delivery and that of her fellow singers, the group creates an air of such a solemn, moving moment through their performance alone.  The song’s lyrical content adds even more to that sense.

Ala.ni sings in the song’s lead verse, “Go away from my window/Go away from my door/Go away/away, away from my bedside/And bother me no more/I’ll go and tell my brothers/I’ll tell my sisters, too/That the reason my heart is broke/Is on account of you/It’s on account of you.”  She continues in the song’s second verse, “I’ll give you back your letter/I’ll give you back your ring/But I’ll never forget my one true love/As long as songbirds sing/So go away from my window/Go away from my door/Go away/Away, Away from my bedside/And bother me no more.”  The song is short, clocking in at only two-minutes, 20-seconds in length.  It is simple in its musical and lyrical content, but a close listen shows that the noted collective content make the song so deep.  One can see a character here, standing at a window, perhaps as the sun sets, singing the noted verses.  It plays out, again, just like a scene from a musical, and hits just as hard, too.  It is just one more way in which ACCA proves to be such a solid, new offering from Ala.ni.  When it is considered along with the other songs addressed here and the likes of ‘Le Diplomate,’ ‘VanP,’ ‘In The Land’ and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the record proves fully engaging and entertaining with its varied, unique arrangements and equally unique approaches to some very familiar lyrical topics.

Ala.ni’s sophomore album ACCA is one of this year’s most unique and original full-length studio recordings.  That is proven through the album’s unique musical arrangements and equally unique lyrical approaches to some very familiar topics.  That is proven through all three of the songs addressed here and the rest of the album’s entries.  Ala.ni and her fellow musicians and performers here have given audiences something that few if any other acts have done so far this year with this album in every aspect.  They have succeeded in the process.  To that end, they have crafted a work that is without argument, one of this year’s top new albums overall.  More information on ACCA is available online along with all of Ala.ni’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://alaniofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alaniofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alaniofficial

 

 

 

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Ala.ni Announces Sophomore Album Is Coming; Debuts Videos For Two Of Album’s Songs

Courtesy: Missing Piece Group

Ala.ni announced this week she will release her sophomore album ACCA next year.

In anticipation of the album’s coming release, Ala.ni debuted the videos for two of the album’s singles — ‘Differently‘ and ‘Sha La La‘ — this week.  The songs present a much more pop-oriented sound than the jazz-tinged sounds of her 2017 debut album You & I.

According to information in a news release announcing the coming album, ACCA is largely an a capella presentation with minimal instrumentation in each song.  Rocker Iggy Pop and rapper/actor Lakeith Stanfield make appearances on the album, according to the document.

The full track listing for ACCA is noted below. Pre-orders are open now.

Tracklisting:
1. Differently
2. Le Diplomate (ft. Iggy Pop)
3. Hide
4. Papa
5. Sha La La
6. Bitch
7. All The Things
8. Van P (ft. Lakeith Stanfield)
9. Wales
10. In The Land
11. Away Go

More information on ACCA is available online now along with all of Ala.ni’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://alaniofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alaniofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alaniofficial

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

RATM’s Second Coming Will Hopefully Continue In The Coming Years

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

The end is near!  The end of the year that is.  The end of 2017 is only 48 hours away at the time of this post.  With time quickly ticking away, there is still a lot of work for this critic to do with year-ender lists.  Considering this, we’ll get right into it with one last list for the year’s new albums in the form of the year’s top new albums overall.  This list was perhaps the most difficult of all for this critic to assemble.  That is because of the amount of top quality material released across the musical universe this year.  From punk to pop to jazz, world, rock and more, there were a lot of great records released over the past year.  Keeping this in mind, coming up with this was no easy chore, to say the least.  It was finally accomplished, though, and includes titles from the worlds of rocks, jazz, country and even world music.

Leading off this year’s best new album — in this critic’s ears and mind — is Ala.Ni’s debut album You & I.  This record is a beautiful work that despite being marketed as jazz, could just as easily fit into any adult contemporary pop radio station’s rotation.  Also included in this year’s finale are new releases from country music superstar Chris Stapleton, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter Marc Broussard, emo-punk band Young Fox’s new album and much more.

As with every previous list, this list features this critic’s Top 10 choices as well as five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

  1. Prophets of Rage — Prophets of Rage
  2. Ala.Ni — You & I
  3. Jazzmeia Horn — A Social Call
  4. Diana Panton — Solstice/Equinox
  5. Fer Isella — Art of the Possible
  6. Nova Collective — The Further Side
  7. Scale The Summit — In A World of Fear
  8. Mike Mangioni & The Kin — But I’ve Seen The Stars
  9. John 5 & The Creatures — Season of the Witch
  10. Dishwalla — Juniper Road
  11. Project 86 — Sheep Among Wolves
  12. Chris Stapleton — From A Room Vol. 2
  13. Young Fox — Sky Beats Gold
  14. Gary Numan — Savage (Songs From A Broken World)
  15. Marc Broussard — Easy To Love

That’s it, folks.  As noted, this was not an easy list to assemble by any means.  Trying to determine which albums likely would have a certain amount of longevity through through musical and lyrical messages was a tough task.  One cannot ignore the fact that what with the nation’s current political climate, the second coming of Rage Against The Machine was one of this year’s most important and standout efforts.  In the same breath, the gentility and beauty offered by Ala.Ni, Jazzmeia Horn and Diana Panton makes their albums certain to stay in peoples’ minds and ears.  Fer Isella’s new album, while instrumental is like the soundtrack to any major Hollywood drama such as Bridges of Madison County and other similar movies.

The jazz fusion feel of Nova Collective’s debut record and the prog rock of Scale The Summit’s latest record stand out just as much.  Mike Mangioni & The Kin may stay under the radar, but that’s just fine with this critic.  The group’s new album is a great independent offering.  Dishwalla’s new album is a wonderful return for the band while John 5 & the Creatures’ new album is yet another example of how truly talented the guitarist truly is and that he made the right decision leaving Marilyn Manson’s band.

It is easy to go on and on about every album noted here.  Regardless of the band’s fame, the fact of the matter stands that each album listed here is one that this critic feels is impacting and important for the given act and for the music community in whole.  That being the case, this list stands as this critic’s best new albums of 2017.  Now with all of the music stuff out of the way, it’s on to a handful of DVD/BD titles including best new box sets for families and for grown-ups, best new DVDs/BDs for families, and even best new documentaries.  So stay tuned for all of that!

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Ala.Ni’s Debut LP Proves To Be A Solid Offering On Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Jazz & Blues Albums List

Courtesy: Missing Piece Records

2017 has been a good year fans of jazz and the blues.  From more established acts such as Diana Krall, Charlie Watts, Trombone Shorty and Diana Panton to new yet equally promising acts such as Ala.Ni, Nova Collective and others, both genres, which despite their musical differences are still related to one another, have turned out a mass of enjoyable (and in some cases surprisingly) impressive albums.  Ala.Ni’s debut album You & I is one of those surprising releases.  It also tops this critic’s list of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums.  Also on this year’s list is Argentine musician Fer Isella’s latest LP The Art of The Possible, new offerings from Putumayo and Music Action Ensemble’s new album Foundation among others.

This year was not an easy one to choose top records.  Charlie Watts, who is known just as much for his jazz work as for his work with his band mates in The Rolling Stones, released quite the impressive new offering this year in Charlie Watts Meets The Danish Radio Big Band. Taj Mahal and Keb Mo partnered for the simply titled TajMo.  Even veteran blues man John Mayall is still going strong.  He released his new album Talk About That this year, too.  Back on the jazz side, Charles Lloyd and his new group of fellow musicians released their own standout offering in the form of Passin’ Thru.  Even here, there is so much to say.  Simply put, coming up with a final list for this year’s new jazz and blues albums was not easy because of the level of talent exhibited across the board.  So no dishonor was meant to any act on this year’s list.   

As is the case with each Phil’s Picks list, this list features the Top 10 Albums on the list and five additional honorable mention titles.  Enough rambling.  Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Jazz & Blues Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW JAZZ & BLUES ALBUMS

  1. Ala.Ni — You & I
  2. Jazzmeia Horn — A Social Call
  3. Diana Panton — Solstice/Equinox
  4. Charlie Watts — Charlie Watts Meets The Danish Radio Big Band
  5. Taj Mahal & Keb Mo — TajMo
  6. Charles Lloyd New Quartet — Passin’ Thru
  7. Diana Krall — Turn Up The Quiet
  8. Charnett Moffett — Music From Our Soul
  9. Fer Isella — The Art of the Possible
  10. Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band — Lay It On Down
  11. Courtney Pine — Black Notes From The Deep
  12. Trombone Shorty — Parking Lot Symphony
  13. Music Action Ensemble — Foundation
  14. John Mayall — Talk About That
  15. Jimmy Greene — FlowersBeautiful Life, Vol. 2

Again, this was NOT an easy list to assemble.  This critic still feels rough coming to terms with the list.  That is because so many great jazz and blues records were released this year including new material from Elvin Bishop and so many others.  Even with that in mind, the list noted here is this critic’s final choice for this year’s top new jazz and blues albums.  Now with this list completed, there is still plenty more to go including the year’s top new Rap/Hip-hop albums, reggae albums, rock and hard rock albums as well as the year’s top albums overall.  There are also a bunch of categories for DVDs and Blu-rays including box sets for families and for older audiences, new live DVDs and Blu-rays, etc.  So stay tuned!

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V Magazine Premieres Ala.Ni’s New ‘Circle’ Video

Courtesy: Missing Piece Records

Ala.Ni is giving audiences yet another taste of her debut album You & I.

V Magazine unveiled the brand new video for her latest single ‘Circle,’ Wednesday.  The song is take from her new album.  The video, shot partly in black and white, takes audiences into the serenity of a quiet forest setting as Ala.Ni performs her new equally calming single.

Along with the video, an interview with Ala.Ni is also presented at V Magazine’s website.  She discusses a variety of subjects during the interview including the inspiration for ‘Circle,’ its companion video, her dream collaborations, what interested her in music and more.

‘Circle’ is just the latest taste of You & I that has been presented to Ala.Ni’s fans. The album premiered in its entirety on National Public Radio’s First Listen series ahead of its release this summer.  The organization premiered her intimate Tiny Desk concert last week, which featured guitarist Marvin Dolly accompanying her on his birthday no less. 

The organization also recently featured on its World Café program, a live performance from Ala.Ni recorded at the 2017 NonCOMM Convention at WXPN in Philadelphia. That performance was also accompanied by its own interview with Ala.Ni by World Café host David Dyer.

As if all of that is not enough, Ala.Ni also recently appeared on BBC Two’s Later…with Jools Holland to perform ‘Cherry Blossom,’ yet another song included in You & I.

Ala.Ni will embark on her first North American tour in October alongside Son Little beginning Oct. 18 in Asbury Park, N.J. in support of You & I.  The tour is currently scheduled to run through Oct. 27 and includes dates in Asheville, North Carolina; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Pawling, New York and a handful of other cities.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Tour Dates with Son Little:
 
10/18: Asbury Park, NJ – Wonder Bar
10/19: Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/20: Woodstock, NY – Bearsville Theater
10/21: Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
10/22: Pawling, NY – Daryl’s House Club
10/24: Annapolis, MD – Rams Head on Stage
10/25: Vienna, VA – The Barn at Wolf Trap
10/26: Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
10/27: Atlanta, GA – Smith’s Olde Bar

You & I is available now in stores and online.  More information on You & I is available online now along with all of Ala.Ni’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://ala.ni

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alaniofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alaniofficial

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

NPR Streaming Ala.Ni’s ‘Tiny Desk’ Concert Now

Courtesy: Missing Piece Records

National Public Radio is giving audiences another chance to experience up-and-coming jazz artist Ala.Ni live and for free.

Ala.Ni recently stopped by NPR’s studios to perform in house as part of the network’s Tiny Desk concert series. She was joined by guitarist Marvin Dolly for the intimate performance. The concert was in support of her new album You & I, which NPR recently made available to stream in full on its First Listen.  

Ala.Ni’s new performance comes not long after she sat down for an interview on NPR’s World Café.  That interview included a live performance by Ala.Ni at the 2017 NonCommvention at WXPN in Philadelphia.

Host David Dye discussed Ala.Ni’s new album during the program along with the influence of her life on the album’s songs.  That interview is streaming online here.

Ala.Ni will hit the road this fall in support of her new album beginning Oct. 18 in Asbury Park, NJ.  The tour’s current schedule includes performances Asheville, NC; Annapolis, MD; Cambridge, Massachusetts and other cities nationwide.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

10/18: Asbury Park, NJ – Wonder Bar
10/19: Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/20: Woodstock, NY – Bearsville Theater
10/21: Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
10/22: Pawling, NY – Daryl’s House Club
10/24: Annapolis, MD – Rams Head on Stage
10/25: Vienna, VA – The Barn at Wolf Trap
10/26: Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
10/27: Atlanta, GA – Smith’s Olde Bar

More information on Ala.Ni’s upcoming tour, new album and more is available online now along with her latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.ala.ni

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alaniofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alaniofficial

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ala.Ni Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Missing Piece Records

Ala.Ni will make her North American tour debut this fall.

The British-born, French-based singer announced this week she will join Son Little for a short string of live North American dates beginning Oct. 18 in Asbury Park, NJ.  The schedule, which is in support of her debut album You & I, runs a little more than a week, includes performances in Asheville, North Carolina; Pawling, New York; Annapolis, Maryland and a handful of other dates. It ends Oct. 27 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The full tour schedule is noted below.

Tour Dates with Son Little:
 
10/18: Asbury Park, NJ – Wonder Bar
10/19: Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/20: Woodstock, NY – Bearsville Theater
10/21: Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
10/22: Pawling, NY – Daryl’s House Club
10/24: Annapolis, MD – Rams Head on Stage
10/25: Vienna, VA – The Barn at Wolf Trap
10/26: Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
10/27: Atlanta, GA – Smith’s Olde Bar

Also in support of her new album, National Public Radio presented an interview featuring Ala.Ni on its World Café program that can be heard here now.  The up-and-coming singer discussed with host David Dye the inspiration behind the songs featured on her new album, her life in music and more.

If that is not enough, audiences can also view one of Ala.Ni’s live performances of her song ‘Cherry Blossom’ taken from BBC2’s hit program Later…with Jools Holland now.

You & I is available in stores and online now.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Ala.Ni’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.ala.ni

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alaniofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alaniofficial

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.