For solo artists, when it comes to the line that says 'artist name' on the record contracts, it's usually an easy decision. An informal version of your first name followed by your surname: truncated of any hard-to-pronounce sounds of course.
Few go the extra mile and say 'Maybe I want the name I record under to say something more than: 'Hey, look at me, I'm a singer-songwriter'". As such, the band name for the solo artist usually signifies a notch higher of the qualit-o-meter will be reached. This isn't their birth certificate, this is music. No egocentricity here.
True to the pattern, London based Alessi's Ark are indeed a cut above the standard fare. Throughout this short introduction to the lady, she meticulously plans the most intriguing way possible to pronounce each syllable which passes through her lips. Opener The Horse is an illustrious microcosm of all which is right about this artist; soft, sensual and mercilessly brief, Alessi is unafraid to share the stage in the name of a prodigious duet where the two switch from stage-centre to stage-rear with the easiest of charms.
Come Neighbour's Birds and it's the guitar's turn to form an impressive alliance. While the steel guitar gently ekes out a rhythm to the right, an acoustic picks away like an A-star sidekick to the right. The male counterpoint is sorely missed from this point on though; they worked so tremendously together, it is but a shame that the marriage could not last.
Instead, Let's Race amps up the dramatic splendour of the piece with the aid of the newly arrived string section. Ahh, the wondrous strings, however people managed to underscore thrilling theatrics before the advent of the violins is beyond us. The scurvy and leprosy probably helped we'd suppose: there's more than one way to make a jaw drop.
"What's the use in goodbye/When the hellos were so good" she asks on the E.P closer Patchwork of Dreams. Sadly, this goodbye adds little new to her arsenal, with the possible exception of a rather bizarre adolescent witch-chant bridging the final moments of this piece. Indeed, the hello was transcendent, the conversation in the middle was arresting, but the goodbye carried an air of disappointment within it.
Until next we meet fair Alessi, we shalt anticipate it with eagerness.