Your EDM Introduced ALYA in our New Artist Spotlight series back in May with her quirky “Animals” single and video, a quirky, electrified melding of Tori Amos and Kate Bush. In the run up to her eventual album release, the funky Russian artist has just released another single called “Half of the Sun,” a track which is a complete 180 from “Animals” and shows ALYA’s chameleon-like attitude towards music and style.
While “Half of the Sun” has sort of a heavy, ominous sound due to the toned-down electro and 60s-style jazz that will make listeners think of early 007 movies and Portishead, ALYA says the track is all about positivity. “The English version of ‘Half of the Sun’ came to my life when I finally was feeling absolutely happy with who I am and where I am. This message is in the chorus—’Live in the moment like it would be the one,” ALYA said recently about the single. It’s true, when one gets past the sound and tone of ALYA’s sultry, lounge singer-cum-trip hop vocals, the message is quite upbeat and uplifting. This makes “Half of the Sun” all the more charming because it sounds like one thing but is saying another. Grumpy trip hop fans will get a dose of sunshine, whether they want it or not.
“Half of the Sun” is an excellent example not only of ALYA’s stylistic diversity but of her ability to marry all of said styles and come up with something interesting and different but also cohesive. In this track alone, classical music, jazz, trip hop, electro and pop are all represented but you’d never know it because the composition of the track blends them all so well. Between this track and “Animals,” new fans of the singer must be positively aching for the album’s release. We know we are.
There’s no defined date for ALYA’s upcoming album, but to the part of her quote about the “English version,” in true weird, artsy fashion, ALYA writes all of her songs in both English in Japanese. This is for no other reason than to challenge herself musically, but her new growing audience can thus expect for two albums to be released: one in English and one in Japanese. We wonder if the Japanese versions will have different sounds because of the different inflections. We wonder if they will mean different things. We wonder why the heck ALYA is so cool! Hopefully soon we’ll have some answers. Stay tuned.
“Half of the Sun” by ALYA is out now and can be streamed and purchased on Bandcamp along with “Animals.” Both tracks are also available on Spotify, and check out the weird and artsy “Animals” music video below.