By Caroline Reynolds
EDMONTON – Stony Plain native Alex Vissia is no stranger to the all-encompassing pendulum of a busy musical existence. Vissia is soon to release her new album Place Holder on November 10, all the while balancing her other current projects: The Hearts, Bad Buddy and the recent launch of her new label Hurry Hard Records, all Edmonton based projects. Vissia’s years from youth spent braided in the music community are undeniably present in the full and expansive debut album.
The four-year incubation has made Place Holder a treat to listen to. The swaying groovy ambience and effortless twists through a wide array of genres creates a nostalgic, relatable mood. Surf guitar riffs, wayward reverbs, sonorous backing vocals and timeless slide guitar all float behind Vissia’s deep harmonic voice.
The album title Place Holder holds a resonating connotation to life’s beguiling narrative.
“This album is a collection of songs, each holding a place in my experiential past,” she explains. “Like any memory, the edges get fuzzy with time and my perspective on situations can change, but I look at each song as a snapshot, a moment in time and each song brings me back to a place.”
Vissia tells BeatRoute she was once a sucker for nostalgia, however now “Writing songs is a way for me to acknowledge situations and experiences and then set them free.”
Vissia’s observant and reserved nature allowed her to compose Place Holdersinsightful lyrics that are an affirmation to existential queries.
“I’m really intrigued by emotions and how people interact, or how they choose not to communicate,” muses Vissia. “How lack of communication can open up so many avenues for misunderstandings and how you process those kind of things. I am writing for my own personal experience, but a lot of times I’m also observing people that I know.”
With a timeless voice, Vissia offers the listener an album that could transform any mundane task into a romantic, folk experience. Each of the nine songs on the album have their own distinct melody, holding that resonant place in time. Vissia’s deep bluesy tone and full backing band are a welcoming introduction to opening track “Mountaineer,” a song lyrically focusing on that wayfaring compadre “that you really care about,” abandoning you once again. Place Holder hits a crescendo with the eerie electric guitar intro of “Night Romancer,” drawing lyrical and melodic innuendos paralleling the hazy confidence of drunken romance. The sixth track, “The Kind Of Good” speaks to lost love and finding yourself “on the floor of a hotel corridor.” Oscillating between poppy jovial timbre and poetic imagery, Vissia is at ease striking a chord for many.
Along with the release of the new album, Vissia has paired up with partner Nick Davis for the launch of her own label Hurry Hard Records, under which Place Holder is released.
“We came up with the ideas to start a record label from just having a lot of experience already doing all the things that a record label does.”
Being already established musicians in the Edmonton scene, the duo is focused on harnessing and supporting their roots within the community.
“We’ve definitely built a relationship with people here; you don’t want to go in it all alone,” she says. “So we have lot of community support from a lot of different musicians, which has made it that much better.”