Alicia Widar

Started by Jeremy Blackman, October 03, 2020, 07:09:00 PM

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Jeremy Blackman





I'm not totally sold on the tune of the original tbh, but Layne's voice is undeniable. As is Alicia's — what a robust vocal in this one.

Her description is interesting:

Quotehii! this one is my favorite alice in chains song. although i don't relate to this song that much, since i don't smoke and the only thing i drink is water and orange juice lol, i'm just completely hypnotized by everything about the song. layne's voice, the super distorted guitar. idk, every song from the dirt album is next level.
Living life big time

WorldForgot

Smooth frettin' ~ dig it.

Jeremy Blackman

Living life big time

Jeremy Blackman





0:37 is undeniable.

As with "Stuck On You," she seems to have re-written the chord progression. This is a more streamlined take that really fits her style. Similar to her stripped-down version of "When You Sleep" that focuses on the core melody.

Quotehii!!! one more from the smiths. i changed the song a little bit but i hope u don't mind :)
Living life big time

Jeremy Blackman

I ran across a negative comment on this video, which I won't repeat, but "boring" was the jist of the criticism. So this got me thinking. How would I explain the appeal to someone who's not on board? So here's my dumb essay.

For starters, and you'll have to trust me on this, it does go beyond "pretty girl sings nostalgic songs." If we set aside her vocal talents and talk about style and approach, I think it's primarily about subtlety.

Music taste is extremely subjective of course. To me, Adele sounds like unbearable shrieking. My system rejects overadorned vocals and basically any amount of melisma. So Alicia Widar's calibration is pretty much perfect. I prize tone and timbre and tasteful, subtle choices above all else.

I will absolutely acknowledge that not all of Alicia's covers expressively plumb the depths of emotion (although some certainly do). But let's appreciate the deceptively simple thing that's happening. Any song she interprets, no matter the subject, comes out clarified and sweetened, but somehow still raw. If you want to know who she is as an artist, that's the simplest way to put it.

I've seen some criticisms of her Alice In Chains covers—should you really be tackling this subject matter if you don't have that life experience? To which I say of course, why not, as long as you're honest about it. Alicia doesn't pretend to be anything she's not. In fact, there's a certain aesthetic joy in seeing a straight-edge sheltered girl sing about heroin addiction with hello kitty bedsheets and stuffed animals in the background.

Most of the time she's just being herself and exploring moods. And that's pretty great.
Living life big time

Jeremy Blackman



Simple & beautiful. And the new mic definitely makes a difference.

Wholesome vibes in her description:

Quotehiii!!!! thank u for 200K!!!!! i still can't believe it.

thank u for always leaving nice comments and supporting me, i never thought i would accomplish something like this :)
Living life big time

WorldForgot


:idea: more neat dual guitar work from Alicia.

Jeremy Blackman



I think this is one of her best in a while. The section starting at 3:30 is magic — gentle/airy voice in the verse giving way to something more unrestrained in the chorus. Works so well for the song.
Living life big time

Jeremy Blackman

Alicia released a new version of her viral "Down In A Hole" cover — this one freshly recorded and fully-produced — on and Apple Music.

Quote from: Jeremy Blackman on November 16, 2020, 04:38:30 PMEach day that passes without Alicia Widar having access to a studio is a crime against humanity.

Oh how far we've come since then. Her voice is captured clearly and produced beautifully in this track. Likely a good preview of how her original song will sound (and that's coming next month).
Living life big time

Jeremy Blackman

Alicia's first original song, called "Denial," is out! Streaming on and Apple Music.

The dominant influence here is definitely Avril Lavigne, with a dash of Courtney Love and maybe even some Billy Corgan.

The section from 1:06 to 1:37 is magic. Has the best lyrics, too:

QuoteHey, I haven't seen you in a while
I can pretend this doesn't hurt me
It isn't time to whine

Living life big time
The atmosphere changed my mind
Hit my stride
I'm always right

It's interesting to see what register she chose to sing in when given free reign. And the choice is perfect imo.

Composition-wise, it's very poppy with a strong grunge undercurrent. It so closely embodies the style I expected that it's kind of scary. Pretty impressive as a first-time songwriter. This was entirely her composition, self-recorded and self-produced.

Weirdly, this part reminded me of Britney Spears circa 2000:

QuoteI'm all over the place
Runnin' away
But wanting to stay
Living life big time

Jeremy Blackman

Attached below is a super wholesome (but also informative) post!

Amanda Milanes, Alicia's primary mentor, does PR and booking for the music industry and seems pretty influential. (Everyone else I'm about to list follows her.) She responded to Alicia's post saying "just the beginning"...

Kiara Moreno is an accomplished recording & mixing engineer, and I think she did a great job mixing these 2 releases. I knew they were professionally mixed when they were about 3x louder than Alicia's recordings usually are. You can notice the pro mixing touches when the room sound fades out between lines. And the harmonies (which might be pitch-shifted duplicates, not sure.)

Bradley Hayes is a DJ and producer and has seemingly worked with most of these other people.

Also cheering Alicia on (and following her on Instagram) is Chloe Clements, A&R (i.e. talent scout) for Republic Records, which coincidentally is releasing the Licorice Pizza soundtrack.

Most of the above are followed by Jacqueline Saturn, president of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services, which is "is a full service partner to the independent label and artist community." These people are all in the same orbit. Seems that Alicia is very much a known quantity in this group.

Living life big time

WorldForgot



Perfectly channels her influences. Very excited for all that follows.

Jeremy Blackman

Living life big time

Jeremy Blackman

Quote from: Jeremy Blackman on April 28, 2021, 04:58:19 PMHer vocal flow is especially stunning in that video.

Speaking of which...



Tell me you didn't get chills at some point during this cover, and I'll give you a dollar. Then I'll take the dollar back, because you're lying.
Living life big time

WorldForgot



one of my favorite songs of all time, and a certified classic for acoustic emo exorcisms