It’s hard to find something truly different when it comes to music. Most radio hits have relatively cliché, albeit catchy, lyrics about love and a basic melody. That’s completely fine, but it doesn’t necessarily make a song stand out too far in a crowd.
So, where can you find someone who generally strays from the beaten path and writes music true to them?
I’d suggest checking out Alessia Cara.
The 19-year-old Canadian comes out with a bang on her first EP Four Pink Walls. Her alternative R&B style is unique to today’s pop charts. Her vibe is similar to that of Melanie Martinez’s – a strong, catchy beat paired with unmistakeable lyrics.
She’s skyrocketed to popularity from posting covers on her YouTube channel to singing a Taylor Swift cover on the BBC Radio 1 (which Taylor Swift did say she loved). She’s been profiled by the New York Times and co-signed by Drake. Needless to say, she’s going places — and fast. It’s because she embraces herself for who she is.
Her songs don’t tend to fall into the pit of overused and overheard lyrics and topics that, frankly, we’re all tired of hearing. Instead, she’s cheekily self-deprecating and easy to relate to. Her song “Here” is about her at a party when she’d really rather be at home doing something, anything, else. She even goes so far as to call herself an “anti-social pessimist” and later adding, “Oh God, why am I here?” It’s just enough to still be funny and relatable without getting angsty and whiny about being at a party when you’d rather be home. It’s arguably the best song on the EP.
On the other hand, “Outlaws” was her weakest link. It’s about running off with a lover and essentially becoming outlaws. She even goes so far as to say, “you’re the shining to my star” which, honestly, is a bit cringeworthy. The song is a bit repetitive and stereotypical – definitely not representative of her overall quality.
Another love song she wrote, this one considerably better, is “I’m Yours” which Pitchfork describes as “poutily flirtatious”. Though the song of the title seems tired and old, it is actually about her being ‘mad’ at a guy for making her fall in love with him. “I’m mad at you for being so cute” she writes alongside “Oh how rude of you/To ruin my miserable/and tell me I’m beautiful”. The song is not legitimately angry, which adds to the charm of it. Her reluctance to fall in love with this guy is replaced by accepting him into her heart and declaring “Oh baby, I’m yours”.
As a whole, Alessia’s style is unique to her own self, a very refreshing thing to hear. The songs on her EP are good individually, although they seem to be a bit mundane when listened to all in a row. Despite that, Four Pink Walls is definitely worth a listen; this girl has talent, and with any luck, will soon carve out a place for herself on the top of the charts.