Some of us knew it already: it is extremely difficult not to fall under the charm of the the London-based new sensation. A number who those who did were present in the packed venue after discovering her at the previous edition of the Jazz festival, from which she came through as a praised revelation. While making waves on the internet, the mysterious new sensation just released a debut album “You & I” july 1st via Bonsound and was performing at the Club Soda for two nights. Shows from which was saw was the most promising.

ala.ni

 

Off her poised demeanor and tantalizing manners, the young singer made an acapella debut, setting the tone of the night: for the next hour, we would all be enchanted by the warm colour of her voice. On stage, she opted for a guitar and guitar and harp combo — an undervalued instrument in the genre, as the use of the harp in as it was popularized by Alice Coltrane and Dorothy Ashby but never widely exploited. ‘’I live in a city of love’’ declared the singer, justifying the romantic content of her compositions.

Ala.ni channels a Broadway-esque attitude with a lightness at heart and minimalist arrangements. She pours her hear it in a vintage microphone, with lovely theatrical manners, harnessing a cabaret ambiance that is miles away from its usual mushiness. The vocal power and control is impressive, so is her spontaneousness. She scats with the ease of a butterfly, the since love is not always happy, she howlers away from her mic, then around the venue to the mezzanine, her voice clear, resonant and so expressive even without a microphone.

ala.ni

Then, with a countenance that contrasts her well-turned out persona, Ala.ni jokes around, drops a few swear words and explains that she and her band do not use a set list. She concludes the night with covers of which titles are not well-known, and we drink out her words, bewitched. Like what you do not need to be loud to make waves.

An interesting fact, the mystifying singer is Damon Albarn’s protégé, from whom she was a worked back-up singer at the time of Blur; she was also a backing vocalist for Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige among others. Her great-uncle was Leslie Hutchinson, known to the public through the moniker of Hutch, who was a popular singer in the 30s. Whether if the apple didn’t fall too far from her honorable ancestor, Ala.ni’s talent and originality can only be credited to her own modern, intriguing ways.

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About The Author

Christelle Saint-Julien
Collaborator - RREVERB

Christelle is a Montreal-based writer, musician and translator based and born in Montreal. An hyperactive brainard, her first love really is music. She makes a living putting words together in different contexts.