Alessia, “Here” (Def Jam)
[Quick side note – this track seems to have disappeared from my Soundcloud page. It’s out now on iTunes, so you should check it there.]
Picture this: you’re at home, content with your entertainment/snack/beverage of choice, when your friends decide they’re going out, and you need to go out with them. You decide to humor them, and find yourself stuck to a beer soaked floor, senses bombarded by a haze of chronic and the din of “music [you] don’t even listen to”, then numbed by the inane blathering of people with whom you, fortunately, have little in common. Said folks too drunk or stoned, or just too souped on themselves to realize, that you “don’t want to dance”, “don’t need a boyfriend” and – at the risk of coming off as an “anti-social pessimist” – would just like to be left in peace until your friends are ready to go so you can get the hell out.
If any of this sounds familiar, then “Here” by new (to me) Toronto-based r&b artist Alessia, just might be the soulful pop catharsis you’ve been looking for. “Here” finds the artist in sing-rap mode over a never gets old sample of Isaac Hayes’s “Ike’s Rap”, delivering clever lines (“some girl’s talkin’ about a hater/….she ain’t got none”) in a voice reminiscent of Estelle, or an un-autotuned Rihanna.