From New Album ACCA out January 24th
The UK-born, Paris-based artist ALA.NI released her new single “BITCH” off of her upcoming sophomore album ACCA (out January 24th). So far the album has been acclaimed by NPR Music, The FADER, Vibe, and Flaunt Magazine, who praised “BITCH,” saying “ALA.NI’s crooning braids into itself, and lullabies you into a lush trance. It sounds like an ode to a long distance lover. But, when taking a closer listen to the lyrics, they pierce through the tune like ice-cold water.” Iggy Pop has a brief vocal feature at the end of the song, and he’s also featured on the album’s track “Le Diplomate.”
“‘Bitch’ was a somewhat humorous apology to a lover and was never meant to be a song, but a personal message,” ALA.NI says. “He never commented at the time on it, nor my apology, so I thought fuck it, fuck him, I will use it for my own public use! Iggy added a little tag at the end and solidified it all… so yes I am a very pleased official BITCH!!!!”
ACCA consists primarily of dense, harmonically intricate vocal arrangements with sparse or no instrumental backing at all. It’s the followup to ALA.NI’s debut 2017 album You & I, which was praised by Paste, Interview Magazine, The FADER, and NPR, who said “you won’t hear another record that sounds like this one this year, or dare I say this decade.” But while some critics made comparisons to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland, the infectious beats and rhythmic tunes on ACCA owe more to Dr. Dre and Errol Dunkley than Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan.
ALA.NI initially envisioned her second album as a completely a capella project, and indeed ACCA is made up almost entirely of human voices (beatboxing serves as percussion, and she lowered her own vocals with an octavizer on several tracks to create the illusion of bass). Along with Iggy Pop, Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You, Atlanta, Get Out), makes an appearance on the album, but make no mistake: ACCA is pure ALA.NI. She wrote, produced, and arranged each song herself, layering up hundreds of vocal tracks in order to create an immersive, hypnotic world that blurs the lines between vibrating vocal cords, bowed strings, and blown reeds.
The bold sound of ACCA incorporates elements from the myriad of worlds ALA.NI has traversed. Born in London to Grenadian parents, ALA.NI grew up listening to everything from cabaret to calypso. Her great uncle, Leslie “Hutch” Hutchinson, was one of Britain’s most popular singers in the 1920’s and 30’s, and her father played bass in a reggae band. She loved Julie Andrews and the ballet, but was told that as a young black girl, those things weren’t meant for her. After graduating from London’s prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School, ALA.NI found work as a backup vocalist, performing across a broad range of genres with artists as diverse as Mary J Blige, Andrea Bocelli, Damon Albarn, and John Legend. ACCA perfectly reflects this complex tapestry of influence and experience.
2. Le Diplomate (ft. Iggy Pop)
5. Sha La La
7. All The Things
10. In The Land
11. Away Go