Alejandra O’Leary really shines on her new album titled ‘Everest’. The title is appropriate as each track aims high in creativity and diversity in each their own way. Having handpicked musicians and allowed to improvise freely on the album, to me, was a very smart move because parts of the album have a downright jam session type of groove to it which absolutely takes ‘Everest’ over the top musically in some places and leaves the listener enticed to stay for more. Combine that with the solid songwriting and soothingly keyed vocals of Alejandra and ‘Everest’ becomes a set of memorable tracks that will follow you and become a selective soundtrack for those future memories.
About Alejandra O’Leary
There are not many women in rock n’ roll music, let alone women equally confident in pop or rock, in English or Spanish. Alejandra O’Leary was born to a Colombian mother and Irish father and her birth name seemed to check those boxes appropriately. Having a different sounding name and being a woman of color both challenged and shaped her as she grew up listening to crashing waves and Beatles records. Specifically, growing up in Portland, Maine instilled feelings of being both a native and an outsider. “I’ve always been at home with messiness, big emotions, and uncertainty,” Alejandra reflects. “I guess that’s why I like rock n roll.”
After moving to Santiago, Chile at age seventeen, Alejandra became infatuated with the idea of creating music and followed her muse across the world for a decade, releasing four albums of original songs, sharing the stage with Guster and Asobi Seksu, and drawing positive nods from outlets like No Depression, PopMatters, and Magnet. The sound Alejandra cultivated during this time was an expansive mix of raw rock theatrics, anthemic Top 40 pop melodies, and soulful retro flourishes.
In 2016, Alejandra returned home with her newborn baby to Portland with the intention to record a new album. Never one to follow cookie-cutter formulas, she rounded up a group of hand-picked local musicians and sent them demos of her new songs. No other instructions were given, and when they all showed up in the studio, it was made clear that they were going to improvise the song’s final arrangement. Alejandra refers to the band as a pop-up project, asserting “This improvisatory spirit keeps things fresh and thrilling. I find it to be the most enchanting way to create music.”
The resulting recordings have a live-wire feeling to them which reflects their on-the-spot creation. From the twangy 90’s Americana of “Undone” to the shoegazey twilight-rock of “Wires,” ‘Everest’ is packed with a variety of distinctive ‘retro-nuevo’ sensibilities, yet it’s all indicative of its creators spunky and soulful spirit.
SOURCE: Official Bio