Thursday, May 30 2024

Alexa Lash follows up the beautifully soulful, folk vignette, ‘Missing’ with her latest release, ‘Fate.’ This sees her start her musical journey with guitarist Pedro Rubio and if this is the marker that all future work by the duo is to be judged by, then expect great things.

‘Fate’, is an affectionate, emotive, wistful, study into pre-determination which speaks loud and clear; are our choices, our own and how much of our journey is pre-ordained? The sincerity and conviction of which this is mused upon by Alexa adds unimaginable gravitas and feels inherently real. Something sorely lacking in much of todays music. In fact, her spine-tingling delivery could liven even the most mundane prose. Give her a grocery list and she’ll reduce you to tears. I call this the ‘Tori Amos paradox.’ 

The song opens with an Ennio Marricone evocative whistled lead, provided by Ferny Coipel, driving bass and a warm compressed, reverb-heavy guitar akin to ‘Wicked Game’ by Chris Isaac. It’s strong. It exudes spacious qualities, depth and wide-open spaces. This has ‘road anthem’ written all over and the type of effortless cool you’d find in a Tarantino soundtrack. Jack Kerouac would approve.

Verses are kept tense by the combination of the driving bass, clean accent chords and tom heavy drum patterns. This allows Alexa all the space she needs for her captivating melodies. Her high-alto lays somewhere between Steve Nicks and Florence Welch, and has a wavery, seductive quality. Her melodic-contour is phenomenal; high-falling, high-flat, falling-rise, all demonstrated within the first vocal section. Her variety and range are incredible. Her tone; pure and natural. 

Accented chords form the basis for the pre-chorus, which reins in the serene flow, momentarily, as Alexa questions, “If it all works out as intended, does it matter where we end up?” A perfect introduction to the chorus, thematically, narratively and musically, “Fate calls will you answer?” Rich cascading vocal harmonies are backed with metronomic bass and drums, provided by Marcel Salas, giving the song a more open, dynamic and expansive air. The chorus ends with the refrain, “Fate makes you its lover,” offering narrative cadence. 

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The ensuing lead break, again provided by Marcel Salas, works around pentatonic phrases and is understated but eloquent and allows the song to retain its momentum before the breakdown. It has to be said that the lead is crisp and varied and perfectly balanced, adding to the overall dynamic. Plus, it is reminiscent of Dave Gilmour, so that’s massively appealing to me.

The song follows a rondo structure, with clever dynamic shifts allowing impact to the subsequent sections and moments of reflection between. These serve the narrative well as we’re ushered through the vagaries of all that we consider fated, against the choices we make. It’s a subtle and divisive musical and narrative interplay which shows great maturity and artistry.

This is a superbly crafted and produced folk-rock song and Ferny Coipel’s (yes, he of introductory whistle fame) mix is unassuming perfection. The balance, separation and tone are effortlessly in-tune with how the piece should be presented and point towards a team that, not only, know how to write exceptional songs, but how to present them in their best possible light.

‘Fate’ is a classic road anthem; simple, catchy and speaks to the listener in every possible way. The narrative is tight and flows wonderfully well. It’s the type of song that warrants being played at high volume, in a soft top, on a long stretch of road, to give it a fully immersive experience. 

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Review

Summary

Blissfully well-written road anthem with a folk/rock vibe. Demands to be played loud and often.
89%
ANTHEMIC, CAPTIVATING AND VOCALLY SUBLIME

Rating

Song Quality
Vocal Performance
Lyrics
Instrumentation
Production

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About Author

Gareth Johnston

Gareth Johnston is a Lancashire based musician and producer who studied music at MMU. He is a former reviewer for 'Glitzine' and when not writing for 'The Indie Grid' can be found restoring old furniture whilst listening to obscure alt-rock. He has too many favourite bands to pick one and insists it's easier to pick a favourite child.

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