Alea Rae is a lovely girl. Alea Rae is also a lovely trio of people. You see, Alea Rae is a singer-songwriter and also the name of the band fronted by said singer-songwriter. (The other two members are Jeremiah Ackerman and Patrick Farrugia). While the boys joined her midway through the recording process for her EP ‘Offerings’, they added musical layers that made that much better.
Offerings gives us a window into the variety of influences that are present in each member’s repetoire. Alea herself says that her biggest inspirations are mostly folk-based and her voice is described as a cross between Karen O and Veronica Falls. Patrick meanwhile states that this is his first experience with predominantly folk music; his biggest influence would probably bigger Sigur Ros – who happen to be one of my personal favourites. He is definitely heavy on the ambient side of things. Alea stated that it’s hard describe what they are right because much of it doesn’t show up on the EP, but their new album – currently in progress – is a lot more ambient-based and experimental. Although I do feel that ‘Offerings’ has the beginning of a dream-wave/chill-wave type sound
The album itself is quite delightful. It’s simple and dreamy, yet has woven layers which make it different from a lot of other, more traditional folk-based music. The last two songs (out of a total four) feature both Ackerman and Farrugia and really lend it an extra kick. While all three members have are partial to the title track, I personally have a soft spot for “An Honest Man”. Alea’s voice tinkles and shines, and given it’s style and lyrical content, it’s refreshing that it’s not overwrought with multiple layers and synthetic sounds. It’s straight forward.
The band has currently taken a step back to focus on the writing, which has become a lot more collaborative, for the upcoming full-length album. Alea states that it will be much darker than ‘Offerings’ is. When I pressed her about why so many artists write from places of darkness – grief, sadness, etc. – she says simply that it’s easier. It’s subconsciously buried in continues, and states that if one writes from that place it is easier to connect with others. “It’s way harder to write a happy song than a sad song”… Ah yes, given that most artists I know (including myself) are rather emotional people (or at the very least in touch with their emotions) it is easy to see why this is the case.
Offerings was released on June 26th, 2013.
RIYL: Sigur Ros, Jonsi & Alex, Amiina, Lavender Diamond