by Aldus Santos
Self-contained vignette. Slice of psyche. Thoughtfully crafted dance. The video for Alfa’s AWOOO debut is a cross between analysis and companion volume.
There is a pervading anachronism to Alfa’s work. It’s hard to pin down. Maybe it’s the sweet, almost painful naivete in her lyricism; or perhaps the way a bit of candy always manages to pierce through the pain, telling us no heartache is ever truly apocalyptic.
Most would associate these foolhardy optimisms to the quite-distant past because, well, much of self-expression today has a dejectedness we don’t want to acknowledge…but it’s there. The SoCal-based singer-songwriter and schooled multi-instrumentalist, luckily, eschews that cynicism in spades.
Her AWOOO Records debut, “Every Word You Say,” is testament to that. Amid a backdrop of triumph-despite-loss, it’s ultimately an exploration of musical waters the composer hasn’t fully waded in. “[This is] a new sound for me, but one that I’ve been wanting to create for a long time,” Alfa said in an earlier account, alluding largely to her violin-playing in the song, as well as her desire to bare a more “percussive, groove-driven edge.”
This same earnestness is on display today, this time in a video directed and choreographed by Frankie Anne, who provides a palpably impressionist counterpoint to Alfa’s otherwise-straightforward lovelornness.
“We started in fall 2021, when I explored my directorial and choreographic vision [with Alfa], [where I also told her] how her body and artistry would best be suited to the dance moves. It was shaped, changed, [agonized,] and rejoiced over,” the filmmaker-choreographer recounted.
The result is a self-contained vignette, a slice of psyche, a thoughtfully crafted dance piece piece that functions both as analysis and companion volume. Subtly lit despite being festooned with candles, we see the singer sashay across moods, gliding and flailing along with the emotional peaks and dips in the tune.
Indeed, the video for “Every Word You Say” is a thrilling collaboration between two multi-disciplinary creatives. Frankie Anne first met Alfa when she served as vocal coach for the latter, so when she got asked by the prize-winning musician to hop aboard the project, “[it] was a no-brainer,” she said, stressing how Alfa “made it easier with her multiple talents.”
“Alfa worked with commitment, willingness, and great focus,” she added.
The pandemic may have put things on hold for the John Lennon Songwriting Contest-awarded, Siloy Music Awards-nominated musician, but this new video is a heartening portent. And may it go beyond just that.