ALBUM REVIEW: Alessi’s Ark “Soul Proprietor” EP

Label: Bella Union
Release Date: 05.04.2010

Within seconds of listening to this EP, I couldn’t help smiling.  Opener ‘The Robots’ blends acoustic joy on a sunny afternoon with the spectre of Marc Bolan’s childlike vocal innocence and its greatness is in its simplicity.

And yet the innocent gentleness of these songs hides a very determined Alessi Laurent-Marke (aka Alessi’s Ark) who within 6 months of her 17th birthday, had not only signed her first record deal, but had also travelled to the USA to record with her most favourite producer, Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes.

As the EP evolves, ‘Shovelling’ is a brief and insistent song, which would do well on a soundtrack to a low-budget indie film, while Alessi’s fragile and almost ethereal voice is highlighted on the more intense ‘Dancing Feet’. The only weak song for me here is ‘The Bird Song’ which although it has a lovely, almost Cajun feel in places, it didn’t move me as it felt almost like a band just jamming along until someone said stop.

Having released her debut album “Notes From The Treehouse” in 2009, the “Soul Proprietor” EP has been released on the consistently wonderful Bella Union label and with labelmates as diverse as the Dirty Three, Explosions In the Sky and Fleet Foxes, Alessi’s Ark music may not be as intensely ‘cool’, but it has its own distinct, delicate character.

Having toured with Emilia Torrini, Cerys Matthews and Laura Marling, some may say that Alessi’s Ark is part of the folk pop renaissance which continues unabated and that here is just another in this line of singer-songwriters. If you are not already inclined to this genre of music, Alessi’s Ark may not convince you. But what would you be missing if she did?

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Alex Borg

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1 Comment

  1. […] like ‘The Dog’, ‘Hummingbird’ and some from her latest release “Soul Proprietor“. The vocals were strong and proud, yet the underlining tone was vulnerable and delicate, and […]


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