Alicia Hansen’s third studio album, Before You, was released Nov 5, 2018. It marks her arrival at a place of artistic confidence, authenticity and clarity. Produced by Polaris and Juno Award-winning Jesse Zubot, (Tanya Tagaq, Fond of Tigers), Before You is a blend of gut-wrenching grit, lyrical beauty and courageous vulnerability.
Before You magnifies the essence of Hansen’s “experimental pop that’s both listenable and challenging” (NOW Magazine). Unified by a calm candour but varying widely in tempo and tone, these eleven songs keep Hansen’s “distinctive and enticing vocal work” (Whole Note) at the forefront. Under Zubot’s masterful guidance, this album is accessible and impactful while accentuating the music’s “unique, excitingly original” identity (Foxy Digitalis).
Standing tall in Hansen’s new-found self-acceptance, Before You
embraces a theme of individuality and a rejection of conventions
dictated by the modern music industry. A lyric from “Fame &
Glory” aptly states: “So I hope that you’re not waiting for me / to
turn into something that I’ll never be.”
Featuring haunting strings from Vancouver improvisatory masters
Peggy Lee on cello and Jesse Zubot on violin, Before You combines
warm analog intimacy with an intriguing backdrop of electronics
from Dixie’s Death Pool leader Lee Hutzulak. Juno Award-winning
drummer Ben Brown (Pugs & Crows) and renowned bassist
Darren Parris (Frazey Ford) complete the ensemble.
From the PJ Harvey-esque “I Disagree” to echoes of Portishead in
“Tied to the Post,” the listener is taken through the wide gamut of
Hansen’s influences. Electronic shimmers in “Before You” highlight
layers of counterpoint reminiscent of Brad Mehldau, while the
startling contrast of “Meristem” and “Battlestare” reveal Hansen’s
roots in modern jazz, prog-rock and 20th-century classical music.
Born in Vancouver, Alicia Hansen has been honing her keyboard
and vocal skills since early childhood. Holding Royal Conservatory
diplomas in both piano and voice and a degree in jazz piano,
she has studied composition under several of Vancouver’s finest,
written for theatre and film, toured extensively with a professional
choir and performed widely with her band, most recently as the
opener for the Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist Hiromi at
Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre.
Before You is a beautiful album that I am very happy was brought to my attention. Alicia’s warm vocals and the fantastic instrumentation of her piano and her band are top notch. I urge you to give it a listen.